Adrien Broner didn’t look like the heir to Floyd Mayweather, or really even Mayweather Lite, but he did do enough to get the better of Emmanuel Taylor in the main event on Showtime, from the US Bank Arena, in Cinci, on Saturday night. Taylor had his moments, often landing a left hook clean, and also catching Broner with a right late which signaled his desire to stop the hometowner. But AB showed some flair for entertaining late, as he traded in the last couple rounds, and in fact dropped the loser late in the 12th. A left hookercut had the crowd ecstatic, and put an exclamation point on what was too often another B- effort.
The scores were 115-112, 116-111, 116-111.
After, he let dad brush his hair, and then gave Taylor props for coming to Cinci. Was he tougher than expected, Gray asked. “No disrespect to you, Jim, but he’s African American, I knew he was going to be tough,” said AB, drawing chuckles. He showed love to two longtime corners, and said he came from the bottom, and knows what it’s like to be low. Is Matthysse next? Yes, he wants that. “He can get it,” he said. He’d do it now, with the cut, right now.
The 25-year-old Broner (28-1, lost Marcos Maidana last December) was 140 (154 tonight) on Friday. Taylor (18-2, age 23; lost to Chris Algieri) from Maryland, was 138 1/2 (152).Broner was 11-0 in Cinci.
In the first, Taylor came out charging. Broner threw that lead sweep hook, and clanged a right high on the head early. A right to the ear ended the round for Broner.
In the second, Taylor pressured Broner. He had Broner on the ropes but it didn’t seem threatening. Taylor was catching Broner clean more, I admit, than I expected him to be able to. In the third, Broner slipped and dipped, circled, as Taylor advanced. The clipping left hook, the check hook, worked for AB.
In the fourth, the Broner single jab got on track. A counter right smarted on Taylor. A left to the body also looked like Taylor didn’t care for it. “The jab opened up everything,” trainer Mike Stafford said to the Cinci native after.
In the fifth, Broner showed the lead shoulder, rolling it to provide some cover. The lack of jabs helped Taylor, for sure, in this round. Taylor ripped to the body, with a left, and he was investing all in with it.
In the sixth, Taylor came out jabbing, coming forward, trying to back AB into the ropes. AB was inactive, and save for a ripper left hook to the body, he sent word he didn’t want the round. In the seventh, Taylor looked to be a bit nastier. Then AB, who by the way pushed off too much as he always does, put together some combos. Was he busy enough to take the round?
In the eighth, the lead hook once again didn’t work for AB. But he showed more volume and took the round. “You’re letting him off the hook,” Stafford told AB.
In the ninth, Taylor tried to rip combos. A hellacious left to the body worked for AB with 50 seconds left. In the tenth, Taylor tried to land an overhand right. But Broner had ample energy left, scoffing at those who thought he was clubbing too much in training. A right hand, after a four fight combo, popped AB. The end of the round was the best action of the fight.
In the 11th, Broner had the distance he liked. His jab, some fast, some not, did that for him. Taylor ate another, and another left hook to the body. Taylor landed a couple left hooks, clean, in this round. We saw a cut on Broner, on the right eye. This was his first career cut, apparently.
In the 12th, a right popped Broner’s head back. He hustled after AB, who then ate another clean right cross, but one without much power. They traded and excited the crowd in the second half of the round. A left upper dropped Taylor, and he was up with three seconds to go. Then, we went to the cards…