Broner Plays the Heavy In Front of Hometown Crowd

By Kieran Mulvaney

Adrien Broner lost a title and then won a fight. He also won the opportunity to keep moving on to bigger and better things; though the way he did so won’t sit easily with all of his fans. But at the end of the day, his record will show he became the first man to stop Vicente Escobedo, and the controversy that surrounded this fight will fade away, leaving only another victory on Broner’s unblemished record.

The drama began on Friday, when Broner tipped the scale at 133.5 pounds, three and a half pounds above the contracted 130-pound-division limit. That meant immediate forfeiture of his title belt, and the situation incited fury from Escobedo’s team. That afternoon, overnight and through much of Saturday, they insisted the weight difference was too great and that they would bolt. Not until a few hours before HBO’s Boxing After Dark was scheduled to air was an agreement finally reached and the fight officially given the go-ahead by both sides.

When the bout began, the size difference was soon apparent: Broner solid and muscular, Escobedo relatively wiry. Evident too, however, was a gulf in skill and class. Escobedo, a credible contender, was simply no match for Broner’s speed or his repertoire of moves.