Boxing weekend review: Adrien Broner beats Vicente Rodriguez
We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing, including Adrien Broner's defeat of Vicente Martin Rodriguez
Boxer of the weekend
Adrien Broner. The unbeaten American won his first world title on Saturday night in Cincinnati as he claimed the vacant WBO super-featherweight belt by knocking out Vicente Martin Rodriguez in the third round. Catching his opponent with a good right cross against the ropes, the 22-year-old exhibited his excellent finishing abilities by swarming his opponent and eventually dropping him, after a barrage of shots, with a sweet left hand. Headlining an event for the first time in his career, Broner looked good and continues to impress in his fledgling career. Questions have been raised about the standard of opposition he has faced but he is still young and will undoubtedly come up against some of the sport’s best. All we can judge him on is his career so far – and with his record reading 22 fights, 22 wins, 18 by the way of knockout, it is an impressive start if nothing else.
Fight of the weekend
Jorge Arce v Angky Angkotta. Jorge Arce cannot be in a boring fight, but even by his own standards, his performance, along with that of tough Indonesian Angky Angkotta, was brilliant. The two fighters traded punches for the full 12 rounds, both leaving the ring bloodied and worn as Arce won a wide unanimous decision, the judges’ score cards reading: 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111. It was their second fight against each other, this time for the vacant WBO bantamweight title and it was a tough, engrossing battle. Fighters in lower weight categories do not receive the media attention and publicity the bigger men get, but if you want to see two men giving their all for the sport then look no further. Fans often complain of sports stars being detached from reality, making massive amounts of money without entertaining the fans – this accusation cannot be levelled at either of these men.
Knockout of the weekend
Deontay Wilder. An athletic, 6ft7, American heavyweight (there are not many of those), and add his unbeaten record and 100 per cent knockout ratio and Deontay Wilder is a valuable boxing commodity. On Saturday night on the undercard of Adrien Broner’s title fight, Wilder, known as the Bronze Bomber, after winning a bronze medal for the USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, showed that he has true one punch knockout power. In the first round against fellow American David Long, Wilder landed a huge right hand that sent his opponent straight to the canvas, which is where he remained. Wilder has had to face accusations of being coddled so far in his career, facing an admittedly poor standard of opposition, but he is still knocking them all out. It would be good to see him progress to ten and 12 round bouts next year and against steadily improving opposition.
Decision of the weekend
Broner v Rodriguez undercard. Some boxing promoters have recently started to pay more attention to entire show they put on, slowly giving the fans more for their cash. The most significant change has been the improvement in the quality of the fights put on the before the main event – and Saturday night in Cincinnati continued this trend. Fight fans got to see some of America’s most promising and unbeaten prospects all on the same card. Adrien Broner is legitimate contender and Gary Russell Jr and Deontay Wilder are exciting prospects. Juan Garcia looks like he has a good future in the sport and Chris Pearson has a lot of people excited after making his professional debut. That is a solid night’s worth of boxing. People generally know when they are being ripped off, and it is a feeling that is all too frequently associated with boxing promotions. Exciting and varied fights offer value for money and entertainment, two of the main attributes which helped to make boxing one of the most popular sports of the 20th century. It surely can’t hurt to try that same method again.