It’s a card packed full of big names at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, this Saturday night, with no less than three twelve rounders, and two ten rounders on offer. Showtime televises in the USA.
The advertised bill topper sees the ever controversial and brash Adrien Broner (33-4-1, KO24) return from an over two year layoff.
The former three-weight world champion is now firmly past his best, with his peak coming in his time as a champion at Super Featherweight and Lightweight, and his latest outing comes at Welterweight, as he takes on the relatively unknown Puerto Rican, Jovanie Santiago (14-0-1, KO10) in the main event here.
Broner is 3-3-1 in his last seven ring appearances, and the plan must be to manoeuvrer him into a final world title tilt as his career winds down.
‘The Problem’ saw his cloak of invincibility vanish in 2013, when he jumped from Lightweight to Welterweight, and was schooled by Marcos Maidana.
He has claimed a secondary Super Lightweight title since, but he has been nowhere near his early career promise.
The 31-year-old is without a win in three, first losing on points to Mikey Garcia in July 2017, and then drawing with Jessie Vargas in April 2018.
The Cincinati-based fighter has had well publicised brushes with the law that have hampered his progress, and he was last out in January 2019, giving a decent account of himself before falling to a points defeat to the great Manny Pacquiao.
In the opposite corner his opponent this weekend shouldn’t give Broner too many issues, and has only fought in his native Puerto Rico and Panama in a 15 fight career.
Santiago’s last fight came in December 2020, and he needed under a round to defend his WBA Fedelatin title at Super Lightweight against the previously unbeaten Juan Zegarra.
Prediction: Although Broner’s mind is not always on the sport, he should have far too much for the vastly inexperienced Santiago.
After upping the pressure, Broner should be able to bring a stop to the action around halfway.
Chief support comes in the form of an intriguing Heavyweight twelve rounder.
Ultimately, the Swede lost on the cards, but gained credit in defeat. He returned in August 2020, stopping Travis Kauffman in five, and now meets Dominic Breazeale (20-2, KO18), a man who has twice failed in world title shots.
The Californian was stopped in seven by Anthony Joshua in June 2016 in an IBF title fight, and his last challenge came in his last fight, blown away inside a round by then WBC champion Deontay Wilder in May 2019.
This is a great piece of matchmaking, and I lean towards the fresher Wallin to take a decision win.
The final twelve rounder comes at Super Lightweight, and it’s another well matched contest. Robert Easter Jr (22-1-1, KO14) makes only his second start in the ten stone division, and he’s up against Ryan Martin (24-1, KO14), best known for his November 2018 seventh round stoppage defeat to Josh Taylor in Glasgow.
Easter is a former IBF Lightweight champion, winning the belt in a thrilling split decision victory over Richard Commey in September 2016.
The Ohioan made three defences before failing in a July 2018 attempt to unify, as then WBC champion, Mikey Garcia, took an unanimous win.
His return match was a crack at the vacant WBA and IBO belts, but Rances Barthelemy held him to a three way split draw.
Easter was last out in October 2019, making a debut at Super Lightweight, and widely outpointing gatekeeper, Adrian Granados, over ten.
Martin has made two very low key appearances since the Taylor setback, and this is a big step back up in class. Although the naturally smaller man, I think Easter can take a clear points win here.
The none Showtime televised portion of the card has two ten rounders headlining it.
At Bantamweight, former WBA (Super) and IBO champion, Rau’shee Warren (17-3, KO4) meets Sharone Carter (12-3, KO3), and with Carter never been scheduled for ten , and Warren a former world titlist, the pick is for Warren to come through clearly on the cards.
The other ten round attraction comes at Super Lightweight, where Zachary Ochoa (21-1, KO7) takes on Argentina’s Juan Jose Velasco (22-2, KO14).
Velasco has been halted in each of his defeats, but in good company against Regis Prograis and Mario Barrios, but Ochoa can add to that list with an inside schedule win.
The sole four round contest comes at Super Bantamweight, where Romuel Cruz (4-0-1, KO2) should be able to halt Julio Garcia (3-5, KO2) who has been stopped in every defeat he has suffered.