Friday, June 9, 2023

Broner Dominates Determined Hutchinson In Return To The Ring

The ten round Welterweight bout between former four-division world champion Adrien Broner and largely unknown contender Bill Hutchinson on June 9th at Casino Miami in Miami, FL was not one with the type of anticipation leading up to it that there was suspense in not knowing who would emerge victorious. This was due largely to how little was known about Hutchinson, who is also a practicing attorney when not competing in the Boxing ring, but how little if any footage existed of him competing. This observer noted in previewing this bout that even I, a proud Boxing lifer who studies fight films on a daily basis as also a noted historian in addition to covering the sport, could not find any footage of Hutchinson's previous bouts in his career.

What Hutchinson did have going for him beyond being more active than Broner, who was coming off of a two and a half year layoff, was a respectable record of 20-2-4, with 9 Knockouts, but against opposition that could be described as lightly regarded. Nevertheless, the elements of both the unknown of what Hutchinson would bring with him into this fight, as well as questions of how Broner would look after a lengthy absence from active competition made this fight interesting.

While every statistical metric that one could use from the experience of Broner, to the caliber of opposition, to the overall difference in total fights between the two, pointed firmly in the direction that Broner would likely have the advantage, often when covering a fight where not much is known about one of the combatants, I approach things with an open mind. After all, when you have never seen a fighter compete before, you do not know what you might see once a fight is taking place and as such, you want to observe what said fighter has in his/her arsenal before forming an idea as to how the fight might be fought.

Despite a blueprint of sorts existing on how to attempt to fight Adrien Broner by applying pressure and keeping him in a defensive shell and unable to throw punches with consistency, Hutchinson began this fight by trying to box with a high caliber boxer and rather than sitting back in a defensive shell, it was Broner coming forward and bringing the fight to Hutchinson. A flush left hook to the body of Hutchinson in the first round had him badly hurt and against the ropes. 

Although it appeared that Hutchinson was on the verge of being knocked down, to his credit, he battled through and survived the round. It became clear rather quickly that Hutchinson had tremendous heart and the will of a lion, but did not have the fight plan or the ability to time Broner with counter punches. Despite occasionally landing flush punches on Broner, particularly with his right hand, the consistent ebb and flow of the fight was Broner coming forward, pushing Hutchinson back, and landing hard thudding punches to the head and body as he did so, round after round.

While no one can take anything away from the very "Game" Hutchinson, who displayed nothing but confidence in the weeks prior to this fight, after seeing four rounds of the scheduled ten round bout, I felt the fight should have been stopped. There is no disputing the heart Bill Hutchinson showed in this fight, but as it increasingly became clear that he was suffering a beating in a fight that he was numerically behind on the scorecards and keeping in mind that even though he was able to catch Broner flush occasionally, Broner kept coming forward, a clear indication that he did not have the punching power to suddenly turn the fight in his favor. Because of this, I felt the fight should have been stopped, if nothing else to protect Hutchinson for his future both in and out of the ring. The opinion of yours truly notwithstanding, Hutchinson continued to show his mettle until the final bell in dropping a ten round unanimous decision to Broner. 

In previewing this bout, I stated that this should be viewed as a fresh start for Adrien Broner after spending the last two and a half years having fights fall through and a well publicized split between himself, his former manager Al Haymon, and the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters that had handled most of Broner 's career. This fight, which was the first for Broner under Hall of Fame promoter Don King did serve its purpose in getting Broner back in active competition again and he did get ten rounds of solid work against a determined opponent that can always say he went the distance with the former four-division world champion. As for what we saw from Broner inside the ring, he was more aggressive than has been the case previously in his career, was coming forward, and appeared to be more focused.

Whether or not the new aggression from Broner was a by-product of facing an opponent that due to his limited resume inside the ring, was a few levels below him, remains to be seen. While there is at least some talk of Broner possibly fighting the likes of Ryan Garcia or WBC Jr. Welterweight world champion Regis Prograis, each in the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division, in the near future, the most important thing for Broner is to be as active as possible as it will only benefit him in the long run. As for the Boxing attorney Bill Hutchinson, this loss to a fight of the caliber of Adrien Broner should be a valuable learning experience for him as he moves on with his career in the Boxing ring and he can hold his head high in going ten hard rounds to the distance with a former world champion. Perhaps a move he might want to make would be to add a trainer to his team perhaps like a Freddie Roach, who specializes in training offensive-minded fighters. With the proper time to develop with the addition of a trainer like Roach who can teach fighters elements of technique and strategy at all stages of their career, Hutchinson might get another chance against a world ranked opponent. For now, Bill Hutchinson has earned the respect of the Boxing world for his performance in defeat to Adrien Broner and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

"And That's The Boxing Truth."

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