By Jake Donovan
If the following predictions are any indication, then Antonio DeMarco truly has a ‘Problem’ on his hands Saturday evening. The lightweight titlist defends his belt against unbeaten Adrien Broner, who was forced into moving up in weight after outgrowing the super featherweight division.
Broner (24-0, 20KO) fights for the sixth straight time on HBO, as the 23-year old is widely viewed as high among the sport’s brightest young stars.
The Ohioan comes off of a brief stay as a 130 lb. titlist, winning a vacant belt last year in his hometown. He made one successful defense – a 4th round knockout of Eloy Perez in a battle of unbeaten super featherweights that was never close to being competitive.
A second defense was planned for Broner in his Cincinnati hometown, but he failed to make weight in his July showing against Vicente Escobedo.
The bout was nearly canceled, but ultimately saved at the 11th hour thanks to Golden Boy Promotions offering enough cash to sway Escobedo. A weekend’s worth of drama ceased the moment the opening bell rang. Broner handled his business with ease before forcing the Californian to quit in five rounds.
A far stiffer challenge is expected against DeMarco (28-2-1, 21KO), who makes the third defense of his lightweight belt. The lanky Mexican won the crown in dramatic fashion, rallying back hard to eventually stop Jorge Linares in the 11th round of an instant classic last October.
DeMarco was way down on all three scorecards when he battered Linares’ face into a mask of blood before forcing a stoppage late in the round.
The win came 20 months after a miserably failed title bid in what served as the last ever fight for the late – and disgraced – Edwin Valero. DeMarco has bounced back to win five straight, including a 44-second blitzing of John Molina in his most recent fight this past September, which also aired on HBO.
Despite serving as the naturally bigger fighter and true lightweight, DeMarco is a 6-1 underdog in Saturday’s headlining act along the hurricane-ravaged Atlantic City gambling strip.
Will the odds hold up as Broner’s star continues to shine bright? Or will DeMarco once again shock the world and further plead his case as the best active lightweight on the planet?
See how the staff at Boxingscene.com believes the action will play out.
PREDICTIONS – ANTONIO DEMARCO VS. ADRIEN BRONER
DeMarco is a good fighter and a wonderful story but if you assess his two biggest fights, he was stopped by Edwin Valero and was badly behind against Jorge Linares until the Venezuelan faded late. Broner seems to be better in just about every measurable category and should be more comfortable at 135. I see Broner winning via TKO in 10.
– Ryan Burton (Broner)
Broner has been on a nice run since struggling against Daniel Ponce de Leon in his HBO debut nearly two years ago. As impressive as he’s looked in his past several fights, none of the opponents were on par with Ponce de Leon, never mind DeMarco. There exists the possibility that a fight that goes to the cards results in a Broner win no matter what, but I like DeMarco to do enough to make it impossible to get robbed. DeMarco by decision, scoring two knockdowns along the way.
– Jake Donovan (DeMarco)
If Adrien is what he says he is - and it's my guess that he's at least within jabbing range of that hyperbole - then he's got more than enough skill here to dispatch with a perfectly respectable, but competitively overmatched belt-holder. All bets are off if he takes a solid combo to the jaw, but short of that I expect him to jump, jive and wail his way to a one-sided decision (if not a late stop)
– Lyle Fitzsimmons (Broner)
Adrien Broner TKO8- I think he is the real deal and it will show against DeMarco. DeMarco will give it his all but it will not be enough as Broner will dominate
– Ernest Gabion (Broner)
Broner TKO 10 Demarco: Let me start off by saying DeMarco is a tough individual and never backs down from a brawl. The problem is "The Problem" will not brawl with him. I expect Broner to put on a boxing clinic against the game challenger. DeMarco's only chance is to make it a dog fight early but Broner has too high of a boxing IQ. I expect DeMarco not to stop coming forward but Broner will use his heart against him by breaking him down and stopping him late.
- Tim Kudgis (Broner)
Adrien Broner UD12 Antonio DeMarco. Antonio DeMarco is easily Adrien Broner's toughest test to date, and a southpaw to boot (Daniel Ponce de Leon, anyone?). However, I think Broner has grown since that fight, and his speed and defensive skills will make him a difficult target for DeMarco to hit.
- Ryan Maquiñana (Broner)
I expect Antonio DeMarco to give Adrien Broner a very tough fight. DeMarco is a very slow starter in his fights but once he warms up he comes with some nice aggression. I think Broner will have to dig deep before pulling out a Unanimous Decision
- Chris Robinson (Broner)
Broner UD: DeMarco is tough, and he's improved, but he's going to have a hard time with Broner's speed. I think this could be dull. Broner will probably look for something big in the first half and if he doesn't win we're off to pot shot city. He can beat DeMarco with his feet as much as his hands and that leaves DeMarco to chase. If it gets deep, Broner may face some adversity. We'll see.
– Cliff Rold (Broner)
This is a very intriguing matchup to say the least. One fighter (DeMarco) has already had a career-defining fight, while the other (Broner) thinks he has had one while winning his first world title belt. While Broner has come into his own as a talented fighter with speed and athleticism, DeMarco has faced and beaten strong opposition. Broner's most significant fight against a southpaw was against Daniel Ponce De Leon. He had difficulties against Ponce De Leon and some say he was lucky to get a majority decision victory. DeMarco will fight with more poise and is a better counter-puncher than Ponce De Leon. If DeMarco fights a disciplined fight and could hurt Broner, he has a chance to pull out the victory. However, Broner's speed may be the difference as he pulls out a very close (maybe controversial) decision win.
- Francisco Salazar (Broner)
Broner TKO10 - A solid test for both participants. Broner is facing a big, tall, long lightweight in DeMarco which could pose some stylistic issues throughout the fight. I think DeMarco will definitely test Broner more than his last couple opponents have. I still believe Broner is the real deal and this will be one of the fights that will begin to prove that. I expect Broner's speed and defense to be the ultimate difference as he stops DeMarco on his feet late in the fight.
- Luis Sandoval (Broner)
A nightmare for oracle, if you ask me. Broner looked to be the Man when he fought at super featherweight limit. But he has never met a fighter of Tony's caliber, size and talent combine. The brash boy is in for a rude awakening but his natural talent and defensive prowess will help him squeak behind with the De Leon's like controversy. Knockdows are possible for either part, and Antonio will outwork Broner en route to injustice. Broner SD.
– Alexey Sukachev (Broner)
Total: Adrien Broner 10, Antonio DeMarco 1
The DeMarco-Broner lightweight title fight headlines a televised doubleheader live on HBO from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The evening also features a 12-round heavyweight bout between unbeaten Seth Mitchell and former cruiserweight title challenger Johnathon Banks.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox