By Jake Donovan
Adrien Broner was barely two fights into his lightweight title reign when the opportunity arose to snatch a belt in a third weight class. The outspoken Cincinnati product outgrew the 130 lb. division last year, moving up to lightweight to dominate then-division best Antonio DeMarco.
The win shot Broner to the top of the 135 lb. division, but his stay was short-lived. One defense—a 5th round stoppage of England’s Gavin Rees this past February—was followed up by a strangely scored points win over Paul Malignaggi in his welterweight debut this past June.
Broner (27-0, 22KO) is sticking with the 147 lb. division for the moment, as he makes the first defense of his alphabet title versus former 140 lb. contender Marcos Maidana. The bout headlines a loaded December 14 card at the Alamodome in San Antonio, with Showtime in town for its final telecast of an unforgettable 2013 season.
Both fighters in the evening’s main event are relatively new to the welterweight division. Maidana (34-3, 31KO) has been in the weight class a little longer, though his debut left a lot to be desired—a decisive loss to Devon Alexander, on the same Feb. ’12 card that saw Broner defend a 130 lb. title.
Still, a current three-fight win streak enjoyed by the Argentine puncher is enough to have the defending titlist locked in on nothing else but awaits him next weekend in San Antonio.
“This is boxing. You can’t look past, beyond or ahead of nobody. My main focus right now is on Marcos Maidana,” Broner insists. “Trust me, this will be a tough fight (in my mind), whether I make it look easy and knock him out early or go all 12 rounds.”
The undefeated 24-year old hasn’t struggled to make weight since moving up from the 130 lb. division, where his title reign ended at the scales. In missing weight prior to his eventual knockout win of Vicente Escobedo, Broner knew the time had come to attempt to conquer another division.
Two fights at lightweight were enough to prove his dominance over the rest of the field, although fans feel like they barely had a chance to get to know him there. The December 14 bout with Maidana will match the number of title fights at welterweight as he enjoyed 12 lb. south. The jury is still out on whether he can grow into a formidable welterweight threat.
Broner’s response: size doesn’t matter.
“Look, Floyd Mayweather isn’t a true welterweight. Look what he’s been doing,” Broner points out. “I’m not a true welterweight; I can still make lightweight. But skills wins fights.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox