Source: USA TODAY
Marcos Maidana had a resounding answer to “The Problem” on Saturday night.
The Argentine slugger came out swinging from the opening bell, knocked Adrien “The Problem” Broner down twice and stunned the boxing world by handing Broner his first career loss. Maidana won a unanimous decision to take Broner’s WBA welterweight title before a raucous crowd of 11,312 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) was put on the defensive by Maidana from the start of the Showtime-televised bout. He was hurt badly in the second round and went down after a staggering left hand from Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), nicknamed “El Chino.” Broner barely survived the round. It was the first time in his career that the 24-year-old from Cincinnati had been down. It wouldn’t be the last.
Broner, a three-division champion who was defending his welterweight belt for the first time, went down again in the eighth off another crushing left hand by Maidana, who then inexplicably head-butted Broner intentionally and had a point taken away by referee Laurence Cole. Broner acted like he was badly hurt, flopping onto the canvas. Cole wasn’t buying it, however, and brought the fighters back together after a few minutes.
Maidana has punched himself out in the later rounds in some of his previous fights. But this time he never seemed to tire and kept up the punishment, throwing combinations, hard jabs and powerful body shots throughout the fight. He threw nearly a thousand punches overall (964 to be exact) and landed 231 power shots to 122 for Broner.
Judge Stanley Christodoulou scored it 115-110, Levi Martinez had it 116-109 and Nelson Vazquez 117-109, all for Maidana. The crowd went wild when the scores were announced.
“The truth is, I’ve never fought anyone like (Broner), and it was a great fight,” said Maidana, 30, wearing a crown on his head and holding his new title belt. This was the second weight class in which Maidana has held a title. He was a junior welterweight (140 pounds) titlist as well.
“The plan was to fight any way I could do it, and I won because of that,” Maidana said.
Maidana said he was hurt when Broner hit him after the bell rang ending the 11th round, but he came out in the 12th and kept slugging away to seal the victory.
The brash Broner, who called Maidana a “steppingstone” in his career coming into the fight, left the ring in a hurry without talking. Fans threw cups and bottles at the ex-champion as he was led back to the locker room, appearing woozy from the punishment that Maidana had dished out.
At the post-fight press conference, however, Broner said he was “OK. I’m still the three-time world champion in three different weight classes,” he said. “Tonight, Maidana was just the better man, but we fought a hell of a fight. I hope the fans got what they deserved. … I’m still going to live like we won the fight. I’m still going to party.”
Broner said he wants an immediate rematch.
Maidana, meanwhile, could next face another undefeated fighter, Keith Thurman, who knocked out Jesus Soto Karass in the co-feature.
Thurman KOs Soto Karass: Thurman continued to slug his way through the welterweight division with a ninth-round knockout of Soto Karass to retain the interim WBA title.
Thurman (22-0, 20 KOs) and Soto Karass (28-9-3, 18 KOs) relentlessly traded punches for eight rounds, as Soto Karass went down for the first time in the fight in the fifth round. A combination right and left put the Mexican on the canvas for the third time in his career.
Soto Karass seemed to be running out of gas by the ninth, and Thurman took advantage by throwing a final flurry of punches. He ended it with a crushing left uppercut that put Soto Karass down. Referee Jon Schorle caught the fighter before he hit the canvas.
“There’s a lot of tough guys out there, but ‘One-Time’ represents that knockout all the time, baby. You see what I do,” Thurman, 25, from Clearwater, Fla., said. “They can take it for a few rounds but they ain’t gonna take it for 12 tounds.”
Thurman landed 260 of 586 punches, a 44% clip, while Soto Karass connected on 148 of 688 (22%).
Thurman shrugged off a staggering blow in the first round. “My team told me to keep my hands up,” he said, “Sometimes I like to test my chin.”
Santa Cruz wins by unanimous decision: Leo Santa Cruz remained undefeated and successfully defended his WBC super bantamweight title by scoring a unanimous decision victory against tough southpaw Cesar Seda on the undercard of the Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana welterweight title fight.
As he usually does, Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) relentlessly outworked his opponent. Seda (25-2, 17 KOs). Both fighters combined to throw nearly 1,500 punches during the fight. Santa Cruz landed 297 of 829 punches (36%), while Seda, from Puerto Rico, connected on 170 of 649.
The three judges scored it 116-111, 115-112 and 117-110 all for Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz apologized to the Alamodome crowd after the fight. “He’s a tough guy,” Santa Cruz said. “I’m sorry San Antonio, I wanted to give you guys a better fight but sometimes styles make fights. I have to work harder and next time I’ll do better.”
Asked when he would fight again, Santa Cruz said, “the sooner the better for me. February or March I should be ready.”
Shumenov KOs Kovacs: Beibut Shumenov, fighting for the first time in 18 months, knocked Tamas Kovacs down three times in the first three rounds before referee Rafael Ramos stopped it at 2:55 of the third round.
With the TKO victory, Shumenov (14-1, nine KOs), from Kazakhstan now living in Las Vegas, retains his WBA light heavyweight title. The loss was the first for Kovacs (23-1), from Slovakia, who was fighting outside of Europe for the first time.
Shumenov said after the fight he wants to unify the belt and said he’s ready for 48-year-old champion Bernard Hopkins.
“I know (Hopkins) wants to fight me and I’ll be honored to fight him. I’m ready for him,” Shumenov said. (Kovacs) was more defensive, that’s why it was so hard to get close to him.”
Hopkins was impressed by Shumenov. “The right hand was coming down the pipe,” Hopkins said of Shumenov. “It seemed like the rust was bothering him at first but then he started to execute.”