Thursday, June 18, 2015

Broner-Porter Preview

The Welterweight clash between former world champions Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter on June 20th will pit two of Boxing’s hottest rising stars in a battle where the winner may find himself in position to fight for a Welterweight world championship. In one corner stands Adrien Broner, a former three-division world champion, who has scored thirty wins in thirty-one professional fights. Broner is known for having a good mix of hand speed, punching power, and having very solid defense.

What has made Broner a difficult opponent for most fighters is not just his ability to combine hand speed and punching power, but also to be extremely accurate with his offense. At only twenty-five years of age, Broner has already achieved success that some might argue can take fighters an entire career to achieve winning world titles in the Jr. Lightweight, Lightweight, and Welterweight divisions.

Broner however, has had to deal with adversity in his career. In December 2013, Broner suffered the only defeat of his career when he lost his WBA World Welterweight championship to Marcos Maidana in a twelve round unanimous decision. Although he lost that fight Broner showed his mettle getting up from knockdowns in the second and eighth rounds as well as taking significant punishment throughout the fight and continuing to fight on.

Following his loss to Maidana, Broner moved down in weight from the 147lb. Welterweight division to the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division and has won three straight fights. In his last fight, Broner scored a twelve round unanimous decision over former world title challenger John Molina Jr. in March of this year. Now Broner prepares to move back up to the Welterweight division.

Standing across the ring from Broner will be former IBF Welterweight world champion Shawn Porter. Porter, a winner of twenty-five of twenty-seven professional fights won the IBF Welterweight world championship in December 2013 with a twelve round unanimous decision over Devon Alexander. In April of last year, Porter successfully defended his title with a fourth round stoppage of former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi. Porter’s reign however, would not last as he would lose the IBF world championship in August of last year to Kell Brook in a closely fought contest that could have gone either way.

The twenty-seven year old Porter was able to bounce back from the only loss of his career in March of this year when he scored a fifth round knockout over Ecuadorian contender Erick Bone.  Porter now looks to continue his climb back to a world championship when he takes on Broner.

This figures to be an interesting tactical fight between two fighters who can both box and punch. In this observer’s opinion it is a battle of Broner’s solid defense and accurate offense versus Porter’s ability to be aggressive, offensive minded, and look to gradually break down his opponents. The key to this fight in my eyes will be whether Porter can establish a fast pace, apply consistent pressure on Broner early in the fight, and maintain a fast pace as the fight goes on.

An argument can be made that the only fighter who was able to execute a similar fight plan against Broner was Marcos Maidana. If Porter can be effective in his aggression, break through Broner’s solid defense and force Broner to fight at a pace where Porter dictates how it is fought, it will be to Porter’s advantage.

Porter however, must not let up if he has success in the early and middle rounds. Porter was able to have success in the first half of his fight against Kell Brook by using his aggression to bring the fight to Brook and being the busier of the two fighters. By the middle and late rounds however, Brook was able to gain control of how the fight was being fought and landed the cleaner more effective punches in the second half of the fight. Brook was also able to nullify Porter’s attack by tying him up on the inside.

Although Porter needs to establish a fast pace in this fight and maintain that pace throughout, he must keep in mind that Adrien Broner is a precision counter puncher and he needs to be careful in his attack and not lunge in. While it is logical to assume that Porter will look to be aggressive and bring the fight to Broner, it is also logical to expect Broner to look to use Porter’s aggression against him by countering Porter and looking to land the more effective punches. Kell Brook was able to have success throughout his fight against Porter by landing counter punches.

For a fighter known for being very economical with his offense and making the most of the punches he throws, Broner may study what Porter has to offer in the early rounds and will look to gradually slow the pace of the fight down where he can take control. Although as I have often said over the years, “Anything can happen at any given time in the sport of Boxing and that is what makes the sport great.” it would not surprise me if this fight were to end up in a close decision where there could be a healthy difference of opinion as to who wins this fight.

Whomever wins this fight however, could elevate himself into discussion for a potential world championship fight in their next fight. No matter the outcome of this fight, one can only hope that it lives up to the intriguing battle it appears to be on paper.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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