By Jake Donovan
Ask any fighter before a big fight about their future and the answer is almost always the same – ‘I’m not looking past this fight, I’m focused on what’s in front of me.’
Antonio DeMarco claims the aforementioned as his mindset heading into his September showdown with John Molina, Jr. The bout aired live on HBO and was widely portrayed as an introduction for this weekend’s clash with Adrien Broner – also on HBO - at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The defense against Molina lasted a mere 44 seconds, providing the best of both worlds for all involved. DeMarco was victorious and the quick ending allowed him to escape unscathed and return to the ring less than three months later.
Still, the defending lightweight titlist swears he takes each fight one at a time.
“I didn’t have anything like that on my mind,” DeMarco insisted when asked if the early ending was motivated by the thought of a Broner showdown looming over his head. “I respect all of my opponents and wasn’t looking past that fight.”
That said, he didn’t have to wait long to look towards the future.
“I knew as soon as I stopped him that it was one more step towards the completion of my dreams.”
DeMarco (28-2-1, 21KO) won his belt last October, rallying from behind to stop Jorge Linares in an instant classic. He has since defended his crown twice, scoring knockout wins over Miguel Roman and the aforementioned quickie over Molina.
This weekend’s headliner against Broner (24-0, 20KO) is considered to be his toughest challenge to date – or at least the toughest since his one-sided loss to the late Edwin Valero two years ago.
DeMarco has won five straight heading into this weekend. Broner is undefeated and regarded as one of the brightest young stars in the sport. However, he is moving up in weight after a brief stay as a 130 lb. titlist ended with his losing the belt on the scales prior to battering Vicente Escobedo into submission this past July.
All that concerns DeMarco is what happens once the opening bell sounds on fight night. Whomever is standing in front of him doesn’t necessarily factor into the equation.
“I respect every opponent the same,” DeMarco says, refusing to put Broner on a pedestal in comparison to past opposition. “This fight is as important to his career as it is to his.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox