Can Broner solve his Maidana problem the second time out?
Whatever one’s opinion on Adrien Broner – and there are plenty out there - it can’t be denied he’s got guts. Recently dethroned welterweight champion Broner has exercised his rematch clause to get Marcos Maidana back in the ring in summer 2014, following a one-sided upset loss to the Argentine power-puncher last month.
“El Chino” stripped Broner of his unbeaten record, WBA strap and mystique in as convincing fashion imaginable for an underdog, beating his flashy opponent from pillar to post and dropping him twice en route to a wide decision win in San Antonio, Texas.
The Showtime-televised Golden Boy show, “DANGER ZONE”, was aptly prophetic for “The Problem” as he hurried out of the ring with a suspected broken jaw. And as the cups and bottles rained down on him in the Alamodome, there was no doubt he was leaving with his stature broken also, his air of invincibility shattered and meteoric rise through the divisions stopped and derailed off its tracks. The man poised to take up Floyd Mayweather’s flamboyant, trash-talking, dollar-flashing, PPV record-setting mantle was mortal after all.
Where would Broner go from here they asked. Back down to 140? When would we see him again? Could he recover from such a humbling and chastening defeat? He’d talked the talk but it was Maidana who walked the walk that night, walking through Broner as well as walking him down at that.
The news earlier in January that Adrien Broner would seek to avenge Maidana immediately has prompted discussion that the young American is taking a colossal risk with his career by not taking a path of lesser resistance back to the P4P summit. The conventional wisdom being that Broner’s lackadaisical and cocky attitude had cost him the first time around, added to distractions out of the ring and his potent punching power not carrying all the way to 147.
The perils of immediate rematches following decisive defeats has been shown by David Price’s capitulation to the unheralded but formidable Tony Thompson and let’s not forget Carl Froch’s slow deliberation over granting his young, dangerous rival George Groves a second crack of the whip in overthrowing him as a unified 168lb champion. Indeed Maidana himself acknowledged the irony of Amir Khan’s refusal to grant a rematch in their spectacularly competitive bout three years ago – with Khan now seemingly set to win the Mayweather sweepstakes – while the newly-crowned WBA champ is forced to rematch a fighter that was much more convincingly beaten than he that night at the Mandalay Bay in 2010. However what of Lamont Peterson voluntarily rematching Khan, Mayweather having the similar grace against José Luis Castillo or Tyson Fury going back to the well with John McDermott?
It’s a commonly held belief that the better man usually wins the second fight, after having made the necessary adjustments in training to alleviate weaknesses and negate their conquerors strongest weapons (see Lennox Lewis v Rahman, Holyfield and McCall). What we saw in San Antonio was the result of overreach and hubris from a charismatic, promising young star who previously was getting by on his talent alone. Now we will see if Adrien Broner has the discipline to go to with his guts and skills - and in reaction to his first loss - if he can plot and scheme a solution out of a Problem of his own making.
- “Showtime“ Stephen Lynch