By Jake Donovan
From Mr. HBO to Mr. Showtime, it’s been a wild and crazy year for unbeaten rising star Adrien Broner.
The former lightweight titlist moved up in weight, capturing a welterweight belt with a strangely scored split decision win over Paul Malignaggi in June. The bout took trash talking to new heights, but also solidified Broner’s status as a ratings magnet, the only fighter in 2013 to score Top 10 TV-rated bouts on both HBO and Showtime.
The road to superstardom isn’t free and clear, however. Standing in his way is bubble contender Marcos Maidana, whom he faces on a loaded card at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The power punching Argentine resurfaced on the contender stage with knockout wins over Jesus Soto Karass last September and Josesito Lopez this past June.
Social media taunts served as the primer for this matchup being made, though aggressively pursued and finalized after their ringside altercation in September during Fight Week for Floyd Mayweather’s lucrative points win over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
With all of the nonsense now in the rearview mirror, all that’s left to do is fight.
Who will let their fists talk the loudest once the opening bell rings? Read on to see how the staff at Boxingscene.com believes tonight’s Showtime-televised main event plays out.
B-SCENE STAFF PREDICTIONS - ADRIEN BRONER vs. MARCOS MAIDANA
“Broner will dominate from the opening bell, but Maidana will hear the final bell.”
- Ryan Burton (Broner UD)
“I thought he looked good-not-great against Paulie Malignaggi in his welterweight debut. I expect him to deliver a showcase performance versus Marcos Maidana, but also reminded of the power difference between the two. Maidana's toughness is overstated, but his punching power is for real. Broner will get tagged enough to know not to get too careless, but at the same time "get down" enough to keep the crowd entertained and a steady lead on the scorecards throughout.”
- Jake Donovan (Broner UD)
“Broner... all day long. The same thing that typically happens when a good tough guy meets a high-end skills guy will happen here. The skills guy will win and look good doing it.”
- Lyle Fitzsimmons (Broner TKO10)
“While a gifted offensive fighter, Adrien Broner is flawed enough defensively to consider the heavy-handed Marcos Maidana a live underdog. We'll learn how complete of a welterweight Broner is in this fight because Maidana will test his chin, something Broner didn't need to worry about when he fought Paulie Malignaggi in his welterweight debut. If he takes Maidana's power well, Broner's boxing ability.”
- Keith Idec (Broner UD)
“Adrien Broner still has yet to prove his power has carried over from the lightweight division, and he certainly has his work cut for him with a brick wall like Marcos Maidana. However, Maidana struggles with swift guys who can box, and I see Broner flustering him with his hand speed and movement the same way Devon Alexander did last year.”
- Ryan Maquinana (Broner by decision)
“Maidana will have his moments. Specifically, about 3 moments. Outside of that, it will be a Broner display of speed, power he's building into at 147, and plenty of flash.”
- Richard Najdowski (Broner UD)
“I expect Marcos Maidana to give a spirited effort and really test Adrien Broner on Saturday night. Maidana's sheer will and power make him dangerous, yet I see Broner being a little more talented and have a feeling he will be on his game. I also think Broner will have filled out a little better at 147 pounds compared to his welterweight debut against Paulie Malignaggi. I would have to pick Broner to win an entertaining decision in this one. ”
- Chris Robinson (Broner UD)
“Adrien Broner, betraying the hype, isn't the defensive wizard some think he is. He gets hit in most fights, and Marcos Maidana can hit with the best of them. Unfortunately, he still gets hit much more than Broner, and the fledgling porn star knows how to use his feet for space. Devon Alexander multiplied the offense on Maidana and had him looking weary. Broner has more firepower than Devon and, while Maidana may have some fun moments, Broner breaks him down before it’s over.”
- Cliff Rold (Broner by KO)
“Broner hasn’t proven to be a strong welterweight. Maliggnaggi showed that Broner lacks the power to settle at 147 pounds. If Maidana can break his defense, he can give us a big surprise this Saturday. Despite this, I thin Broner edges him.”
- Reynaldo Sanchez (Broner SD)
“This could be a tremendous bout between two of the best welterweights in boxing on paper. Could Broner be able to box his way to win or will he go for the KO? If he does the latter, that could play into Maidana's hands. Broner has been susceptible to getting hit in his last two fights. Maidana has gotten better at timing his opponents and cutting off the ring. I like Maidana to pull off the upset.”
- Francisco Salazar (Maidana by TKO or late stoppage)
This a true test for Broner who’s been touted as the next best thing and now it’s time to prove it. Maidana’s hard punching and resiliency will pose real threats to him but I see Broner winning on points over 12 rounds. He won’t walk away from this unscathed and will taste Maidana’s power but he’ll overcome it and register the first successful defense of his title.”
- Luis Sandoval (Broner UD)
“Maidana is too tough to be stopped, and Broner isn't a puncher any more at welterweight. Yet, his sturdy chin and skills set will prove too much for the dangerous but limited Argentinean.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Broner UD)
Adrien Broner 11
Marcos Maidana 1
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox