It was supposed to be the stiffest test of Adrien Broner's career at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday night, and on HBO, and the "The Problem" didn't have one in passing the hurdle. The end for Antonio Demarco, game but defensively deficient, came at 1:49 of the eighth, by TKO, as his corner waved a white towel to signify their concession.
Broner, who really got cooking after a few rounds of scoping out the Mexican, went 241-451 overall, power, 216-373 to 93-351 overall, 80-253 power for the loser.
After, Broner said that yes, he does love to fight, but all in all, he wants to be a playboy. He said he knew Demarco was in over his head. He said that he wanted to send the message that if you fight Broner, you won't get that doodoo off your shoe. And next? Bigger game? He said it's up to Hayon and Golden Boy. He plugged his Instagram and Twitter as well. There was nothing as memorable as hairbrushing or a mock proposal, but his ring work didn the job better than any pub stunt. "I was going to do exactly what I did, shake him up, shake him, bake him, cook him and eat him, no homo," he said of his plan entering this scrap, with I'm pretty certain that last reference flying right over our man Larry's head.
Broner (24-0 with 20 Kos entering; from Cincinnati; age 23) weighed 134 1/2, while Demarco (28-2-1 with 21 KOs; from Mexico; age 26) was 134 1/2 pounds. Broner was five pounds heavier than Demarco, on the unofficial scale, on Saturday.
Broner in his last bout drew some scorn for not making weight, and not trying to make weight versus Vicente Escovedo. Larry Merchant mentioned before the bout that his late colleague Manny Steward met Broner a little while back, and told him he might do well to be more aggressive than Floyd Mayweather and a bit less aggressive verbally than "Money." He has emerged as a "love him or hate him" sort, similar to Mayweather, to a lesser degree of course, but it seems like he borrowed an old Floyd playbook.
The WBC lightweight titlist Demarco fought on Sept. 8, and barely broke a sweat, blasting out John Molina in the first. His sole loss came to the late bomber Edwin Valero in Feb. 2010, and he has matured much since then. He grew up tough, on the streets of Tijuana, a homeless kid in rags who had to forage to eat.
In the first, the ex junior lightweight champ came out gunning. His handspeed stood out, but only after the lefty Demarco sent notice that his hands were there to do damage. Broner had luck with left hooks, scuffing up the right eye a tiny bit. Rom Quirarte his trainer, told Demarco to be a bit busier. "Keep stalking, stay behind your jab," said Broner trainer Mike Stafford.
In the second, Broner stayed focused. It was not a busy pace, but Broner's quick hands impressed the crowd. Stafford noted that Demarco doesn't move his head.
In the third, Demarco went to the body. He was backing up Broner, or Broner was letting him back him up. The Mexican got busier.
In the fourth, we saw a cut on Demarco's right eye. Broner worked inside. His uppercuts scored time and again.
In the fifth, he hurt Demarco. "Underneath," his corner yelled. He complied...and threw in some of everything to boot. A slice looked a little nasty under Demarco's left eye. In the sixth, Broner didn't work as hard. Then he hurt him with a body shot.
In round seven, the ref warned Broner not to go low. Two rounds before, he warned him for holding behind the head. The corner told Demarco Broner had slowed down. Er, not so much...In the eighth, Broner did solid work again and a left hook put Demarco down and his corner threw in the towel.
In the TV opener on HBO, Seth Mitchell, the latest hope for a boxing public which craves an American player at heavyweight, took on Johnathon Banks, a protege and pal of the Kronk sage, Emanuel Steward. Banks was busy last week, breaking training to sub in for Manny, cornering Wladimir Klitschko for his bout against Mariusz Wach. We wondered if his head was screwed on straight?
Mitchell, a footballer at Michigan State who took up boxing at age 25, after he finally decided his knees couldn't handle football, is one to look up to. His mom raised him, as dad was nowhere to be found. A win would put him a step closer to a crack at a Klitschko, or at least a Povetkin.
Mitchell was seen as raw, but with power to burn. Raw won out, as Banks hurt him in round two. He sent him down twice, and then on the third occasion, the ref halted it. Banks landed 25 of 42 power shots in the fateful seconds, and his tutor, who always wanted his guys to be the aggressor, go for the stoppage, was somewhere, smiling.
After, Banks said after that he dedicated the win to Manny, because Manny loved knockouts. The winner said he knew he had a strong foe in front of him. He said the loser made a mistake not grabbing his arms when he was hurt. Larry Merchant said that he'd seen Banks before and he didn't act like a tiger. The winner said maybe turning 30 kicked it into a gear for him. Will he fight a Klitschko now? He said he's just thankful for meeting Manny. Banks, who has been fighting since age 15, said he wasn't scared of the bigger man. He said he knows how to fight Wladimir Klitschko, and in fact, made half a living figuring out Klitschko, so yes, we might see that fight in the future.
Mitchell after the fight said he reached on Banks, and was caught by a counter. He admitted he grabbed at the waist, not the arms. Are his dreams crushed? "Not at all," he said. "It set me back a little bit...Don't be sorry for me, be sorry for my next opponent."
The Michiganer Banks, at 28-1-1, was 218 pounds. Mitchell, 25-0-1, from Brandywine, Maryland, was 242. Both men are 30 years old.
In the first, a right cross tagged Banks. A right had Banks holding at 1:30. Trainer Andre Hunter told Mitch not to fall in after throwing. Javan Hill told Banks to "let his damn hands go."
In the second, he did; Mitchell went down, with 1:52 left. He held on, and Banks flurried. He went down again, with 46 seconds to go. Down Mitchell went again, and ref Eddie Cotton waved it off. "An amazing upset, Steward magic," said Jim Lampley.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV