Former four-division world champion Adrien Broner returned from his two-year hiatus from boxing with a unanimous decision victory over Jovanie Santiago in the main event of Saturday night’s Showtime telecast from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs), who last fought against Manny Pacquiao in January 2019, started slowly but used the second half of the fight to surge ahead on the judges’ scorecards. The fight was scored 116-111, 117-110 and 115-112 and all three judges had Broner winning rounds seven through ten.
“That was cool,” said Broner, who had his hand raised for the first time in four years. “I want to go home and really look at my fight. I haven’t fought in two years. But I felt good, I felt like I won the fight. I felt like I beat him with the jab, honestly. But it felt good to get my hand raised though.”
Cincinnati’s Broner landed just 35 of 138 punches in the opening six rounds of the fight while the previously undefeated Santiago (14-1-1, 10 KOs) landed 93 of 305 during the same stretch.
At the end of the fourth round, Santiago was deducted a point for a punch that landed after the bell. Over the final six frames, Broner landed 63 of 300 punches while Santiago landed 114 of 392. Broner was most active in the ninth round when he connected on 14 of 38 punches. Though outworked over the entirety of the fight, Broner landed quality punches over the second half of the bout which earned him the victory.
“I knew he was going to be tough because he’s 14-0,” added Broner. “And anybody with that ‘0’ wants to keep that ‘0’ so they’re going to fight like a bum fighting for a sandwich. I came in and I got the job done. There is a lot of work out there at 140. Right now we’re going to the drawing board with Al Haymon to see what’s best for me. But I’m definitely going back to the gym and I’m looking forward to getting one of those titles this year at 140.”