“I’ll take Boxing for $200”
“Here is the clue; Unpredictable, Outrageous, Love/Hate, Talented”
“Who is Broner?”
“Correct, for $200!”
Yes, Cincinnati’s “Problem” Adrien Broner (28-1 22KO), love him or hate him, the kid’s talented and you never know what he will do next. You’ll get another chance to see exactly what that may be this Saturday night on Showtime Championship Boxing from the US Bank Arena in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. The tripleheader card will also feature Argentine Lucas Matthysse (35-3 33KOs), and the return of former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto of Winter Haven, Florida (28-3 22KO) in separate bouts.
When we last saw Broner, he was back to his old self in a unanimous decision win against Carlos Medina. There was Broner attempting bolo punches, body slamming his opponent, dancing and taunting, and who can forget the infamous post fight interview? Medina did well in the fight as he tried his best to employ the Marcos Maidana blueprint but was mostly overmatched in a fight that was closer than the score cards indicated.
Enter Maryland’s Emmanuel Taylor (18-2 12KO’s), Broner’s opponent this Saturday. Taylor beat Karim Mayfield by unanimous decision in his last fight but thoroughly lost to Chris Algieri in the fight prior. In the fight against Algeri, Taylor struggled to find an answer to Algieri’s quickness which is something that he will again have to contend with in Broner. While a decent puncher, Taylor’s strength is his fast hands and his ability to counter. If he is going to upset Broner in his backyard, he will need to get past Broner’s reach advantage and quickness, which is easier said than done. If Taylor is able to land a big counter shot early in the fight similar to what Medina was able to do and make the fight dirty at times, he may be able to make things interesting. As Taylor stated, “This is the biggest fight of my career, and I won’t let it get away from me,” “All of those hours in the gym were for a moment like this, and I can’t wait to show the world what I can do in the ring.”
When fighting in front of his hometown fans, Broner aims to give the judges the night off as ten out of his eleven fights in The Queen City have not gone to the scorecards. He can make it eleven out of twelve if he establishes his jab early and often and follows it with blazing combinations, works the body, and keeps the clowning to a minimum. “It’s always good to fight at home. It is overdue and I will never disappoint my Cincinnati fans. I’ll make sure to put on a good show for them” Broner said.
When you think about fight of the year candidates this year, you have to put Matthysse vs. John Molina Jr. in the discussion. Although Matthysse was able to stop Molina in the eleventh, he was there to be hit and was dropped twice, not exactly what was expected of him after losing to Danny Garcia in his previous fight which also saw him hit the canvas.
On Saturday, Matthysse will face WBC Silver Lightweight Champion Roberto Ortiz of Mexico (31-0-1 24KO). “I respect Lucas Matthysse and know how dangerous he is, but this is my time to make a statement, and I will on Sept. 6,” said Ortiz. “I see holes in his game, and I think I’m the better all-around fighter. The world will see that very soon.”
Countered Matthysse, “The title is my only goal, and to get there, I have to beat Ortiz, I’ve heard that he’s a tough fighter, but I’m not worried about him. I just have to make sure I’m ready” Matthysse has generally not fared well against boxers as evident by his losses to Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, and Garcia but Ortiz is going to put him in his comfort zone; however, questions are beginning to surface about his beard. Ortiz is taking a big step up in class but it’s evident that he can bang. This fight has all the makings of classic brawl, fasten your seatbelts.
Rounding out the card will be the aforementioned Berto vs. Philadelphia’s Steven Upsher Chambers (24-3-1 6KO). Berto will be in the ring for the first time since losing to Jesus Soto Karass fourteen months ago and having surgery to repair a damaged shoulder. Regarding the shoulder, Berto stated, “The shoulder is feeling good and we’ve had a tremendous camp. I was able to get out here really early for this fight and train with all the great champions in our gym. I’m just excited to get back under the lights and perform on September 6,” Berto is a stablemate of Andre Ward, Alfredo Angulo and Amir Khan in trainer Virgil Hunter’s Bay Area gym.
Chambers (“brother” of heavyweight Eddie) has been out of the ring over a year and enters this fight having lost his last two. The tale of the tape will favor Chambers over the former champion and he is looking to exploit it saying, “I look forward to using my height and reach advantage and, believe it or not, I don’t know how people rate my speed or whatever, but I think I will be the faster fighter”.
Berto is never in a dull fight and this one should be no different, he will bring out the best in Chambers and in doing so may bring out the best in himself.
There’s going to be “Mayhem” in Las Vegas in a week but no worries; Showtime Championship Boxing has you covered this week. Yes, Queen City, we need a few answers out of you this Saturday night. Is Broner truly at home in the junior welterweight division? Is Matthysse still the knockout destroyer who walked through Lamont Peterson or the fighter who showed vulnerability in a loss against Danny Garcia and in winning his last fight against John Molina? And finally, is Berto totally recovered from shoulder surgery and capable of making a sustained run back to a title shot?
We may not get the complete answers we are looking for as the matchups may not be conducive to our quest but it’s the small answers we could get that will allow us to see what the future may hold for these warriors going forward.
Article contributed to Behind The Gloves.com