Saturday evening in Cincinnati, Ohio saw former three division world champion Adrien Broner (29-1, 22KO’s) return to the ring in his home state for the first time since 2012.
That night against Vicente Escobedo we witnessed a one sided knock out of the over matched American for a vacant super featherweight title, this evening however wasn’t nearly as easy for Broner.
His opponent Emmanuel Taylor now (18-3, 12KO’s) promised to bring it from the opening bell – and that he certainly did. During the first two rounds an aggressive Taylor made the home town favourite look slow and plodding; even reminiscent of the old deer in the head lights cliché.
An easy judgement of two rounds to scratch for Taylor and suddenly Broner was under pressure in a serious way. After a verbal bashing in the corner at the end of the second stanza, Broner re-entered the fray with renewed vigour and looked more like the champion of 2012/13 who made light work (forgive the pun) of the rest of the 135 pound division.
Again in round four Broner took the round with the clinical work we’d expect from the Ohio man; crisp shots in the pocket resulted in cheers erupting at the bell for the break as a dejected Taylor slumped into his stool.
Barring an arguable round six for Taylor, Broner started pulling away in the middle stanza’s as his aforementioned opponent failed to keep up with the precise clean short shots. The work rate from both fighters was of a good standard and it was making for a thoroughly entertaining fight for fans.
Taylor rallied late in the fight opening up a cut above the right eye of Broner in the eleventh with a good shot which seemed to effect “The Problem” but the cut didn’t open further until the bell sounded allowing the corner to administer treatment.
A loud raw greeted the final round as both fighters tried to finish the fight strong. Broner was determined for a knock out in his home state whilst Taylor knew he needed to KO his opponent for any chance of a victory. It was the 25 year old Broner however that put an exclamation mark on his performance, dropping his opponent in the twelfth in the final seconds.
Taylor made the bell with the score cards reading a unanimous decision for Adrien Broner at 116-111 x2 and 115-112.
What now for Broner? A match-up with big punching Lucas Matthysse is what the fans are clamouring for – the fighters themselves appeared to have called for it. Whether Al Haymon agrees to the fight though, that’s another matter entirely.
Down the card saw the aforementioned Lucas Matthysse (36-3, 34KO’s) score a crushing round two KO of Roberto Ortiz (31-1-1, 24KO’s) with a heavy body shot. The Argentinian former world title challenger just seemed to have too much for his unbeaten foe, maybe it wasn’t the greatest call from referee Benji Esteves to stop the fight that quickly but this result was good news for anybody looking to see Broner and Matthysse square off later on this year.
A return to the ring for Haitian former world welterweight champion Andre Berto (29-3, 22KO’s) also ended in victory. A comeback fight against the lowly rated Steve Upsher (24-4-1, 6KO’s) was only supposed to end one way, but that’s not always guaranteed – we’ve seen stranger things happen. After the former Olympian bashed up on his opponent for ten rounds scores read unanimously in agreement at 99-91.