Broner vs. Perez: A Champ and a Challenger, Equally Confident

By Kieran Mulvaney

Adrien Broner, Eloy PerezIn one corner stands the golden child, a fighter groomed for greatness and promoted as the Next Great Thing.

On Saturday night in St. Louis, in the co-main event of the year’s first 'Boxing After Dark,' that role will be filled by junior lightweight titlist Adrien Broner, who fashions himself 'The Problem' and who has already developed a shtick that involves his father brushing his hair while the son conducts his in-ring post-fight interview. Possessed of fast hands and knockout power, as well as a charisma that – as manifested in, for example, the aforementioned hair-brushing routine – is confident to the point of polarizing, he has earned comparisons to a young Floyd Mayweather.

In the other corner stands the half-forgotten stepchild, the earnest yet hungry foe, the promotion’s B-side, anxious to upset the proverbial applecart and make his own mark on the sport.

Introducing Eloy "The Prince" Perez.

Undefeated Perez has a similar number of wins (23), as the 22-0 Broner, but whereas Broner has basked in the spotlight, Perez has toiled in the relative shadows. He is considered fast, but not on the level of Broner; he has some power to his punches, but only enough to stop seven of his opponents, while Broner has halted 18.

But his list of conquered foes includes some solid scalps, and two of his seven stoppages have come in his last two bouts: evidence, say he and his handlers, that he is sitting down more on his punches than in the past. Some observers wonder whether he should be allowed more time to perfect those improvements; but there are others, those who have watched him closely as he has climbed his way through the ranks, who argue that he is ready to spring a surprise,  that a praised champion is about to be upended by an overlooked challenger.

The champion, as is his wont, is confident that won’t happen.

“I’m ready to f**k this dude up,” he says.

But the challenger is equally confident that he will.

“It's going to be an exciting fight and I am going to be on top of him,” he predicts. “There's going to be a new world champion.”

CompuBox Analysis: Adrien Broner vs. Eloy Perez

By CompuBox

Adrien Broner, boxing's second-youngest titlist behind Saul Alvarez, risks his WBO super featherweight belt for the first time Saturday against fellow unbeaten Eloy Perez as the co-feature to Marcos Maidana-Devon Alexander. Will this fight upstage the main event? Their CompuBox pasts provide the following food for thought:

> Read more CompuBox analysis of Adrien Broner vs. Eloy Perez on HBO.com

The Nation’s Capital Prepares for a Night of Punishment

By Steve Marzolf

Photo Credit: Will Hart

For the first time in 18 years, fight fans in Washington D.C. are getting a live look at HBO boxing on Saturday night, when Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson face off in a unified super lightweight title fight at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The local fervor was obvious at the official weigh-in, where Peterson fans far outnumbered (though barely out-screamed) the dedicated enlistees of Khan’s Army.

Those packed in at the Carnegie Library in downtown D.C. received an extra dose of the star power they were looking for, with Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins appearing alongside Paul Williams and a grinning Adrian Broner. D.C. native and former Hopkins opponent Keith Holmes also welcomed Saturday’s fighters to the scales. As the official business began, De La Hoya promised: “D.C., we will be back with big-time boxing. Over and over again.”

Khan weighed in at 139 pounds, looking lean as usual, and Peterson’s slightly thicker frame topped out at 140 pounds. Whether the homegrown mascot will be able to take advantage of his power against Khan’s famous speed, however, remains the big open question going into tomorrow’s bout.

For the televised undercard, heavyweight and former Michigan State linebacker Seth Mitchell will put his undefeated record on the line against Timur Ibragimov of Uzbekistan. Mitchell officially outweighs his opponent by almost 20 pounds (240-and-one-half to Ibragimov’s 221 pounds). All the action starts at 9:45 pm ET/6:45 pm PT this Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing.