by David P. Greisman
His face was heavily marked up. His eyes were covered with large sunglasses. He was about to leave for the hospital to get his cuts sutured.
Antonio DeMarco still appeared at the post-fight press conference after losing in one-sided fashion to Adrien Broner, dropping his world title via eighth-round technical knockout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
“As we know how to win, we know how to lose,” DeMarco said through his translator. “That’s why I’m here.”
DeMarco spoke highly of the man who had just beat him. But while he recognized Broner’s superlative skills, that didn’t ease the pain of defeat.
“He’s a great fighter. Tonight was his night. It doesn’t end here,” DeMarco said, audibly choking back tears.
“This was a great example, a great experience inside of boxing for me,” he said. “I’m a very brave guy, and I’ll come back with more hunger, I promise you.”
This is the third time DeMarco’s lost as a pro. Each of the previous two times, he’s been able to bounce back. His first loss came in his ninth pro fight, a majority decision loss to Anthony Vasquez in 2006, when DeMarco was barely 20 years old. He wouldn’t lose again until 2010. He had taken out Kid Diamond, Anges Adjaho and Jose Alfaro before stepping into the ring with Edwin Valero.
Valero won that bout via ninth-round technical knockout. But DeMarco came back again, winning the vacant World Boxing Council title at 135 pounds last year with a stunning upset of Jorge Linares.
This most recent loss drops the 26-year-old’s record to 28-3-1 with 21 knockouts.
“Without a doubt, he’s a very complete fighter, and I’m glad to have fought with him,” DeMarco said. “I like big challenges, and I think Broner is a super fighter.”
“Broner is a very elusive fighter,” he said. “I fell in his game, and in his fight.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]