By Jake Donovan
It’s been a big week for former three-division champ Adrien Broner, who celebrated a birthday and has now finalized terms for his next fight. Three days after turning 25, Broner signed on to face Emmanuel Taylor in a September 6 homecoming in Cincinnati.
The bout serves as Broner’s first trip home in more than two years, though local fans will be pleased to know that it’s still a buyer’s market.
Tickets for the Showtime-televised card – which airs live from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati – go on sale Friday, August 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET and can be purchased online (Ticketmaster.com), on-the-line (1-800-745-3000) or at the U.S. Bank Arena box office. Price points are set at $128, $78, $53 and $28, the same ticket prices for when Broner faced Vicente Escobedo in July ’12.
Fans can only hope for a less controversial lead-in this time around.
Broner began fight week intending to defend his 130 lb. title for the second time, but was forced to give up his belt at the scales when he missed weight by more than three pounds. A settlement was eventually reached mere hours before the opening bell to convince Escobedo to go through with the fight, which Broner won by 5th round stoppage.
On that particular evening, Broner was the lone driving force behind ticket sales. Normally it’s to be expected when fighting in your hometown, but his supporting cast consisted of then-rising prospects Keith Thurman (who made his HBO-televised debut that evening) and Omar Figueroa.
All told, the show wound up selling roughly 4,300 tickets, with comps bringing the total attendance to just under 4,600 fans.
This trip home comes less than a year since the lone loss of his career, when he dropped a clear decision to Marcos Maidana last December. Broner’s previous two trips home came while he was still undefeated, including his 3rd round knockout of Vicente Rodriguez to claim a vacant 130 lb. title in Nov. ’11.
Even without championship status surrounding the event, Broner (28-1, 22KOs) comes home with a strong supporting cast.
In the evening’s chief support, former 140 lb. titlist Lucas Matthysse faces unbeaten Roberto Ortiz. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds, though with the intention – or the hope – that with wins by the A-sides, Broner and Matthysse will clash in their next fight. Both fighters are coming off rebound wins.
Broner returned this past May to beat Carlos Molina in a 10-round super lightweight fight, dropping down from welterweight following the Maidana loss. The win came one week after Matthysse (35-3, 33KOs) – on the heels of a 12-round loss to Danny Garcia last September – had to climb off the canvas to rally back and stop John Molina in 11 rounds in a non-stop war that ranks high among the leading candidates for 2014 Fight of the Year.
Also on the show, former welterweight titlist Andre Berto appears in his first fight since a humbling 12th round stoppage loss at the hands of Jesus Soto Karass. An opponent has yet to be named.
The upcoming fight marks Broner’s 13th fight in his hometown, a run that began with his pro debut in May ’08. The brash boxer is 11-0-0-1NC (10KOs) at home, having next been extended beyond six rounds while in the presence of family, friends and locals.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox