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. 

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Compubox Analysis: Broner vs. Escobedo

By CompuBox

At age 22, Adrien Broner is one of boxing's youngest champions but also one of its budding stars. As of late "The Problem" has softened his Mayweather-esque edges and forged his own identity as a slickster who also can explode on a moment's notice.

On Saturday, Broner will risk his belt against 2004 U.S. Olympian Vicente Escobedo, who has won his last four since dropping a lopsided decision to Robert Guerrero in November 2010. Can Escobedo derail the Broner Express or will the hometown hero give the partisan crowd at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati another reason to cheer? Their CompuBox profiles offer the following factors:

Broner's Power Surge: After struggling to a disputed decision win over Daniel Ponce de Leon in March 2011, Broner realized he needed to make major changes in style in order to bolster his professional profile and achieve his marketing goals. The results have been wondrous to watch -- three fights and three spectacular knockouts. 

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Broner-Escobedo Overview: A Good Problem to Have

By Eric Raskin

Adrien Broner, Vicente Escobedo

Adrien Broner just might be the perfect representative for boxing in the shorter-attention-span-than-ever, social media era. He’s vibrantly modern. He’s unapologetically uninhibited. It’s hard to know which of his sound bytes are spontaneous and which are pre-packaged, but nearly all of them are worth repeating. In a world in which we communicate in 140 characters, Broner sometimes feels like he IS 140 characters, all rolled into one hair-brushin’, hip-hoppin’, poppin’-and-lockin’ package.

The comparison we’ve heard most often is to Floyd Mayweather, but what makes Broner different is that his brashness comes without the underlying anger, without the chip on his shoulder. There’s a youthful exuberance to Broner’s love-me-or-hate-me personality. There’s an optimism.

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