HBO Boxing, Saturday 10 p.m.: Broner-DeMarco, Mitchell-Banks preview

From lightweights to heavyweights, the action comes from Atlantic City, New Jersey tonight on HBO Boxing, 10 p.m. Eastern. Photo: Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

SAN DIEGO, November 17, 2012 – Adrien “The Problem” Broner hopes to make as much noise inside the ring as he does outside the ring Saturday night in his lightweight fight against defending WBC champion Antonio DeMarco on HBO Boxing Saturday, November 17, at 10 p.m. Eastern from Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ.

Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) and his opponent DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) both weighed in at a tidy 134.5 pounds, and both fighters look sharp and in excellent condition. This is a good sign after his last bout in July, in which he failed to make weight after tweeting photos of Twinkies and boasting about his junk food addictions.

After Broner’s people convinced challenger Chente Escobedo’s camp to go along with the fight anyway at the last minute in exchange for an increased purse, Broner delivered a lopsided beatdown. It wasn’t a lightweight fight by anyone’s imagination with Broner at 145 pounds and Esconbedo at 140 in the ring.

It’s antics like this by Adrien Broner and his father Thomas that annoy fans who’d like Broner to focus on athletic accomplishments instead. Photo: Hoganphotos.

What dismays so many boxing fans about Broner is that he has undeniable talent. He possesses punching strength that puts him on the pound-for-pound Top 10 list, he has serious hand speed, and he moves and anticipates his opponents beautifully. He has every advantage over his opposition. But it all takes a backseat far too often to Broner’s incessant trash talk, posturing, tweets, Instagrams and any variety of antics such as having his father Thomas at his side to constantly comb his hair.

So far, Broner has gotten away with it due to a less than inspiring lineup of opponents. This lack of serious challengers has also been a source of criticism. This may change with Antonio DeMarco, who said at the weigh-in today “I am the solution to The Problem.”

After a rough patch including his only loss in 2010, DeMarco dug deep and won a stunning comeback with a late round knockout of Jorge Linares a year ago, a fight he was losing badly. No one who saw it and who saw DeMarco’s transformation will forget it. His last two fights were knockouts, the most recent a first round thrashing of John Molina on the undercard of the Ward-Dawson fight in Oakland in September. If you weren’t in your seat right at the start, you missed the finish 44 seconds later.

Antonio DeMarco celebrates after he stops John Molina 44 seconds into the first round of their bout on Sept. 8, 2012 in Oakland, California. Photo: AP.

DeMarco is in many ways the polar opposite of Broner. His greatest assets are hard work and tremendous heart. He sweats blood for everything he achieves. He is well-trained and conditioned but he can’t skate by with less than a maximum effort. Sometimes the man who wants it more can beat the talented man who’s had it easy.

Broner is expected to defeat DeMarco; if DeMarco puts up a real challenge and tests Broner, it might say more about Broner’s lack of decent opponents than about DeMarco’s quality. Broner’s detractors would love to see him go down at the hands of DeMarco, but it’s wishful thinking.

In the co-main event, two of America’s best heavyweight talents square off, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) of Brandywine, Maryland and Detroit’s Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs).  Mitchell is a former Michigan State University linebacker who had the talent to make it to NFL but left football due to repeated knee injuries. He has only been fighting six years and says he’s still “a sponge.” Mitchell gets knockouts early though he says he doesn’t focus just on KOs; he has rarely gone the distance in a fight.

Banks does double duty as a trainer. He spent last weekend in the corner of Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg, Germany. He stepped in for his mentor, the late Emanuel Steward of Kronk Gym. Steward believed Banks’ real future is as a great trainer, but encouraged him to continue his career in the ring as long as possible. 

American heavyweights Seth Mitchell and Johnathon Banks put on the customary staredown at their weigh-in on Friday prior to their fight Saturday, Nov. 17 in Atlantic City. Photo: Golden Boy Promotions.

Both boxers are thoughtful and respect each other outside the ring; in the ring these big men are there to fight. Both can be hit; Mitchell has proven he can get back up and win, as he did against Chazz Witherspoon. Banks’ only loss was at cruiserweight to Tomasz Adamek, which he says was due to fighting in the smaller weight class, which hurt his strength. 

Banks weighed in at 218.5 pounds; Mitchell weighed in at 242 pounds.

With the event set in Atlantic City, which is just beginning to recover from the tremendous damage created by Hurricane Sandy, there was understandable concern whether it would need to be moved. Golden Boy Promotions decided to go forward and contribute to relief efforts. Golden Boy is donating two dollars for every ticket sold and $1,000 per knockout to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, whose buildings suffered extensive damages due to Sandy. Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya and Caesars Atlantic City have both agreed to match Golden Boy’s total donation.

Golden Boy also donated fight tickets to the Boys and Girls Club, and fighters Adrien Broner and Seth Mitchell visited the Club on Wednesday. Broner and Mitchell also participated in cleanup efforts during the week. Perhaps Mitchell, a Christian family man, can be a good influence on The Problem.

Adrien Broner and Seth Mitchell visit the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City on Wednesday, Nov. 15 prior to their bouts on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Club was damaged by Hurricane Sandy; a portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Club. Photo: Golden Boy Promotions/Facebook.

“We are hoping that the Broner vs. DeMarco fight will afford people the opportunity to forget their worries for an evening and enjoy this great night of boxing,” said Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Boy Promotions. “At the same time we understand the severity of the situation and would be remiss not to make a donation to help those directly effected by this terrible storm. With Oscar and Caesars Atlantic City providing matching donations, we feel very positive that our collective donation will help to make a difference.”

 

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

 

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.   

 

 

Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.

 

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