In this week’s 3 punch combo, I will first examine Adrien Broner’s future coming off his victory this weekend. Next, I will state why Gavin Rees’ performance against Broner was so admirable and why is career will get a boost despite his loss.
Finally, I’ll break down this Friday’s IBF Junior Welterweight title fight between Lamont Peterson and Kendall Holt, which could be one of the best ESPN fights we’ve all seen in quite some time.
Adrien Broner’s future
Adrien Broner scored an impressive fifth-round TKO stoppage against Gavin Rees on Saturday night in Atlantic City. So after such an impressive victory, where does Adrien Broner go from here?
First, a lot of boxing fans are clamoring for Broner to make the leap to the deep Junior Welterweight division. However, I do not think the timing is right for Broner to make that jump.
Broner just moved to Lightweight in November, and he should get a few more fights in that division before making another jump up in weight. I understand that the division is weak, whoever, there are still some intriguing bouts available.
Ricky Burns and Miguel Vazquez each hold a Lightweight belt, and they face each other next month. The winner would be a natural to face Broner and unify the division. Unified champions are rare in the sport today and would be a nice accomplishment for Broner.
So is a bout against the winner, especially if it is Burns, likely? The answer to that is a resounding yes, even though Burns already turned down a fight with Broner once before.
Burns understands the business of boxing. He also knows that a bout against Broner would be very difficult for him. So, in my opinion, he is strategically trying to collect another belt to drive his price tag up. And my guess is an arrangement mutually agreeable to all parties will be worked out when all is said and done.
Broner likes to stay active and in my opinion this is refreshing to see in the sport. So he may take a bout prior to any unification fights, and if he opts to fight on the Floyd Mayweather undercard on May 4th, ash as been rumored, a fight against a mid-level contender would be appropriate.
After a few more fights at Lightweight, it will be time for Broner to move on. Boxing fans need to be patient for now with Broner and understand the future, particularly 2014 and beyond, looks very bright.
Gavin Rees’ performance and future
I have written before about how fighters can win in losing efforts. There is no better example of this than in the case of Gavin Rees’ performance against Adrien Broner on Saturday night.
Rees came out strong from the start and surprisingly took the fight straight to Broner. He was not intimidated one bit and made a statement early on to Broner that he was here to win. Personally, I think the way Rees fought early caught Broner off guard.
In my opinion, Rees clearly won the first two rounds. He used good timing to land on the outside and then attack Broner’s body once on the inside. Broner and his team legitimately looked a bit concerned after the 2nd. How many boxing fans expected this to occur?
When Broner finally started to get through starting in the 3rd, Rees looked completely unfazed. He continued to try to pressure Broner and land his own shots despite the fact he was starting to absorb some massive bombs.
Rees would finally go down in the 4th from an uppercut and later in the 5th from a devastating body shot, but he never gave up, and as a matter of fact, even continued to press the fight.
Eventually, Rees’ corner would make the right call and save their fighter from himself by stopping the contest towards the end of the 5th.
Rees deserves credit for not only being tough but trying to win. And what I mean by this is many times fighters in his situation who face a seemingly insurmountable foe don’t put forth a full effort to win. They cover up and throw one punch at a time from a safe distance, and only delay the inevitable without really trying to be victorious. Rees believed he could win and fought to win until the end.
The good news for Rees is this performance will make him a hot commodity at both 135 and 140. He is skilled, tough and makes good fights. So there will be more opportunities for him and potentially decent paychecks. Personally, I cannot wait to see him fight again.
This week, ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights features a very intriguing and competitive match-up for the IBF Junior Welterweight championship between Lamont Peterson and Kendall Holt.
This is one of those rare high level bouts that is a true toss-up fight. There are legitimate arguments that can be made for either man coming out successful in this bout.
In my opinion, the biggest factor in determining the outcome of this bout is the mental status of each man. Peterson last fought over a year ago and is coming off a positive drug test prior to his scheduled rematch with Amir Khan. How much of an impact will this have on Peterson psychologically coming into this bout?
As for Holt, does he truly believe he can win a decision in Peterson’s backyard? If he doesn’t, his game plan certainly will be impacted.
Personally, I don’t believe Holt thinks he can win a decision. With the psychological questions Peterson is facing, coupled with the ring rust, I think Holt is going to try to take him out early. And this could make for a very exciting start to the fight.
If Holt is not successful in taking out Peterson early, then I look for Peterson to begin out-boxing Holt in the middle rounds. Peterson will have shaken off the ring rust by then and start to get into a rhythm. Plus, I feel Holt will have spent much of his reserve early allowing Peterson to outwork as the fight progresses.
As stated earlier, I don’t believe Holt thinks he can win a decision. In the middle and late rounds, I look for him strictly to fight in spots hoping for the knockout. He will not be one bit concerned about losing each round and will be dangerous as long as he is standing in front of Peterson.
This fight will certainly be very interesting. It will have definitely have drama and intrigue until the end. This is the best match on paper ESPN2 has had for some time and I do not think it will disappoint.