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Adrien Broner Could Surpass Floyd Mayweather

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A star is born.

Adrien Broner, 22, from Cincinnati Ohio, took his record to 23-0 [19 kos] this past weekend, with a scintillating fourth round knockout of tough Eloy Perez. Before the contest, many thought Perez possessed the style and attributes to give Broner a tough night's work. This however, did not prove to be the case as Broner, after taking just a fraction of the first round to figure out how his opponent was behaving, dominated the action in thoroughly one sided fashion. Perez appeared to be well out of his depth.

Broner, a natural counterpuncher, simply overwhelmed Perez in every area of the fight. Broner was patient early, taking in his smaller opponent's rhythm. Broner then set about disrupting that rhythm with a well timed jab, which he mixed well to body and head. Broner knew he had his man solved as he then started to walk Perez down, behind a high guard. Throwing jabs, straight right hands and lead left hooks, Perez was unable to adjust. One got the impression the fight was not going to last much longer as Broner began stalking his opponent with a lot more purpose and spite. The inevitable came after Broner landed a devastating straight right hand to the chin of Perez. Unable to beat the count, the fight was over.

It is hard not to get excited about Adrien Broner. He appears to have genuine pound for pound potential. At 22 years-old, to say the future looks bright is most definitely an understatement.

Now, something to think about. When a boxer has an  admiration for another boxer, it can become evident in their own style, you will see little similarities  evoking comparisons to other fighters whom they adore. It's apparent when watching Joe Frazier that  he grew up idolizing Henry Armstrong. Likewise  of Sugar Ray Leonard's obvious affection of Muhammad Ali. Sometimes, it can be a good thing. Frazier and Leonard both went on to become genuine stars of the sport in their own right. Sometimes, it can be a bad thing. Meldrick Taylor never quite escaped ” the next Ray Leonard”  moniker.

Within a few moments of watching Adrien Broner, it becomes apparent which fighter he holds a personal affection with. His over the top showmanship and brash behavior outside of the ring, along with his blend of defensive technique and athleticism inside it, have earned him quite a few comparisons to the man regarded as the finest pugilist  alive today, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

On the surface, the comparison seems accurate. Broner, like Floyd is a ring technician of the highest order. They can fight effectively in close or at distance. Their offense occurs as a result of an emphasis on defense. Both have blinding handspeed. Both utilize the same defensive traits too. Standing side on with their feet wide apart, their right hands are always in perfect position over their chin and their left arms are always protecting their bodies. Their similarities don't end there. Broner is equally comfortable countering using his shoulder roll with his back against the ropes, or in the centre of the ring. His comfort and relaxation when under pressure is also reminiscent of Floyd's.

Here is my wish from now on though.

Rather than continue trying to be “the next Floyd Mayweather” Broner should focus his attention on becoming “the first Adrien Broner” because he has some characteristics even Floyd does not posses.

If we think about Floyd Mayweather, his out of the ring persona is a direct result of  something he is missing inside of the ring. The one area in which Floyd could improve on is his ability to finish a fight within the distance. In other words, Mayweather's skills are the show. Adrien Broner seems to be using his skills to close the show. The  knockout is what attracts most casual fans to boxing. It is boxing's equivalent of a home run in baseball or a touchdown in football. Mike Tyson's intention and ability to end a fight made him arguably the most compelling in-ring fighter of all time, to hardcore and casual fans. Luckily for us, Broner seems to share some of Iron Mike's bad intentions.

Let's also remind ourselves that Broner is only 22. If we think about Floyd at that age, he was of a mover, utilizing more in the way of lateral movement and footwork. Back then, Floyd's game was more speed and reflex orientated. Broner's style is more like that of current Mayweather, pressing the attack, standing right in front of his opponent, combining defense and offense simultaneously before systematically breaking them down. Floyd Mayweather is 35 years old. His level of skill has been achieved because of over 15 years of ring experience. While Broner is clearly not quite on the same level as Mayweather, his understanding of feinting, timing and all round ring savvy shows ring maturity well beyond his years.  Dare I say even more than Floyd did at the same age?

Broner's rare combination of defensive wisdom and genuine ko power are a very rare mix of talents indeed. Broner seems to have all the physicalities in his favour as well. He is taller than most of his opponents, he is faster than most of his opponents and he seems to hit harder than most of his opponents. Even at this early stage in his career, I'm convinced he could handle any junior lightweight in the world.

One thing is clear when watching Adrien Broner fight. We know how GOOD he is. Now, let's see how GREAT he can be.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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