By Jake Donovan
The weight classes surrounding the 130 lb. division are loaded with talent and star potential. The problem is finding that right balance in the 130 lb. division itself.
It was hoped that Adrien Broner would stick around long enough to make for some mouthwatering matchups. Alas, the 22-year unbeaten star insists that Saturday’s showdown with Vicente Escobedo will be his last as a 130 lb. fighter.
“This will be my last fight at 130 lb. I’m going out with a bang,” Broner (23-0, 19KO) insists of this weekend’s headliner at the US Bank Arena in his Cincinnati hometown. The bout marks his fifth straight appearance on HBO, in a span of just 16 months.
Included along the way was his title winning effort against Vincete Rodriguez last November at the very same venue hosting this weekend’s event.
“I wasn’t given the title. I had to go out and win it,” Broner said of his violently capturing the vacant belt with a third round knockout over Rodriguez. The win was followed up by an annihilation of previously unbeaten Eloy Perez earlier this year.
Plans for a showdown with Escobedo (26-3, 15KO) have been in the works for quite some time – long enough to where nobody else at 130 will get a crack at America’s youngest active titlist.
“I’m going to show why I won and I plan to leave the ring with my belt,” Broner promises.
Of course, an abandonment of the division means Broner won’t keep the title much longer than his post-fight ringwalk, assuming he gets past Escobedo. Boxing purists have salivated over the possibility of facing Japan’s knockout artist Takashi Uchiyama, a fight that would definitely determine the very best at 130 lb.
Uchiyama is 32 years old and figures to stay put in the division for a while, if not in Japan altogether. While many insist that age is just a number, for Broner it means taking on Mother Nature, perhaps the only fight he’s not able to win these days.
“I’m young. I’m 22 and still growing. After this fight, I’m going to give the lightweights hell. Vicente is on my mind right now. After that, they can all come get it.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox