Monday, June 10, 2024

Cobbs Dominates Broner, Inactivity Kills

The second step for former four-division world champion Adrien Broner on his comeback following the beginning of a new chapter of his career under the promotional banner of Hall of Fame promoter Don King came on June 7th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. Unlike the first step in this phase of his career when he dominated a very “Game," but out classed Bill Hutchinson in June of last year in winning a ten round unanimous decision, step two, which took place nearly one year to the day of that fight, would come against a serious threat in the form of Blair Cobbs.

Cobbs, a Welterweight who himself recently signed with King looking to continue to bounce back from his lone career setback in March 2022, represented not only a legitimate threat and test for Broner in his second flight in three years from a stylistic standpoint, but also a fighter who has been considerably more active than him and his previous opponent, the unknown Hutchinson.

In previewing this bout, this observer stated that it would depend on which version of Adrien Broner showed up. Whether it would be a contest of Broner’s mix of hand speed, punching power, and superb defense against the quick hands and punching power of Cobbs, or if it would be the Broner that stayed in his defensive shell and sparingly let his hands go.

Cobbs immediately established not only the ebb and flow of the fight by establishing a high pace, but also showed that he had the quicker hands of the two fighters, attacking Broner at various angles, and often throwing crisp combinations. This immediately put Broner in his defensive shell, where he was only willing to throw one punch at a time. 

In the second round, Cobbs nearly shocked everyone when he dropped Broner with a perfectly timed counter left hook to the head that knocked out one of Broner’s teeth and sent him down hard on the canvas.Despite not being the first time he had been knocked down in his career, this was a rare time where Broner appeared legitimately hurt and was nearly counted out as he attempted to get his mouthpiece of the canvas while struggling to get to his feet. Broner was able to beat the count and survived the follow-up barrage to get out of the round. 

Though a testament to both his experience and the caliber of fighter he was at his best to survive a scenario that could have ended the fight, the pattern of the fight had been established and it was something that Broner was unable to change in his favor. A pattern that consisted of Broner coming forward seemingly trying to apply pressure on Cobbs, but throwing one punch at a time, which allowed Cobbs to throw short combinations and remain a moving target.

Although Broner would finally begin to open up more with offense in the later rounds of the scheduled ten round bout it would prove to be too little and too late as Cobbs would go on to win a convincing ten round unanimous decision. With the exception of the knockdown in round two, there was not much to say about this fight beyond one fighter out working and dominating the other over the course of ten rounds. 

While the fight was one-sided, it did serve to underscore what is becoming a theme of not just of the coverage provided by yours truly, but in the entire sport. The subject of how inactivity often leads to decline of fighters, which ultimately negatively impacts their careers. It was after all only a few days ago at the time this column is released to readers, that I released a column discussing the recent knockout loss suffered by Deontay Wilder at the hands of Zhilei Zhang in Saudi Arabia on June 1st where much of it centered on the subject of inactivity being essentially a silent killer of a fighter’s ability and ultimately leads to the downfall of their careers.

The commonality between Deontay Wilder and Adrien Broner is each were long aligned with the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters and both went through lengthy stretches of inactivity before eventually breaking away from the PBC to try and resume their careers under different promotional banners. Essentially, both fighters are now in the same position where the question is the same. Should both men fight on or retire? 

Whether one  read or wishes to read that column where I shared my thoughts on Wilder’s situation, I will say again, this observer is not in the business of telling a fighter what they should do as to whether to continue on in their careers as one who's job is to objectively cover the sport.  The situations of these two fighters are examples of a bigger issue in the sport that will not likely be easily solved because though the commonality in this case was the inability of a struggling promotional entity to ensure they had the opportunity to compete on a regular basis, each fighter's circumstances will obviously be different. 

In Broner's case, not only did he have a very public split from the PBC, but he has also had difficulty resuming his career on a consistent basis since parting ways. First, there was the signing of a multi-fight deal with digital streaming network BLK Prime, a new player in Boxing promotion that scheduled a fight for him to take place in Atlanta, GA, only for his scheduled opponent Michael Williams Jr. to suffer a broken jaw while in training for the fight. Ultimately, the failure to get that fight in the ring or to find a suitable replacement led to the parting of ways between Broner and BLK Prime.

Although things appeared to be looking up for Broner after signing with Don King following his victory over Hutchinson, Broner, who was originally supposed to fight back in February, suffered a rib injury which forced him to be sidelined until he fought Cobbs. Complicating circumstances further, something that was not covered by yours truly in the lead up to this fight, which was a case of human error on my part is the fact that Broner split from his longtime trainer Kevin Cunningham while in training for the fight with Cobbs leading him to link up with trainer Calvin Ford with limited time to prepare.  The aforementioned circumstances prior to this fight for Broner are not excuses, but one might question the wisdom in not pushing this fight back further after a split between fighter and trainer in the midst of training camp. It would not appear to be a wise decision viewing things from the outside looking in. If one were to also factor into the equation the ramblings of Broner having a difficult weight cut to get down to the 147lb. Welterweight limit, it also paints a picture of a fighter that at minimum was under prepared for the task at hand. 

Whatever the case might be, much like Deontay Wilder, if Adrien Broner wants to fight on, he needs to find what has been missing and needs to show a commitment to fighting on a regular basis, regardless of the caliber of opposition. The point needs to be stressed, a fighter who is active will give themselves the best chance to succeed as compared to sporadic activity or lengthy stretches of no activity in active competition for years at a time. Inactivity more often than not kills a fighter's ability and that eventually leads to the decline and end of a fighter's career.

“And That's The Boxing Truth.

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved. 

Follow Beau Denison on the following Social Media Platforms:

X: (Formerly Twitter) 




No comments:

Post a Comment