Adrien Broner vs Adrian Granados, LaMont Peterson vs Avanesyan, Marcus Browne vs Williams
BY KID HERSH
From the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, came Showtime Championship Boxing. It is a good lineup that kicked off with Marcus Browne (18-0, 13KO's) vs Thomas Williams Jr (20-2, 14KO's). Thomas Williams Jr is coming off of a knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson while Browne is coming off of a very disputable split decision win over Radivoje Kalajdzic. Referee was Ken Miliner. In the first round Williams did not do much of anything except look at Browne, who was moving and jabbing. In the second round Williams went down from a right hand and then when he was down on one knee Browne hit him with a left hand very late that put Williams down on the canvas. The referee was counting while everyone was yelling foul, only to reach the count of ten and then call a timeout and deduct a point from Browne. He claimed ringside that he did not want Williams to quit, which it appeared he was going to do as he let himself get counted out. After a very long wait (seemed like nearly the full five minutes) and Williams talking to his trainer - which I am not even sure if it's allowed - the round continued and Browne continued picking off Williams, who has thrown the game plan out the window and is try to rush Browne and landing bombs. He is known for this; I have seen him get off his game plan so many times like this it is absolutely expected once he gets hit. In the third round Williams started having some success and even appeared to be hurting Browne a few times, who he was now backing around the ring and not opening up as much. In the fourth round Williams was pressuring and got hit with a right hook that put him down. he made it up to just barely beat the count. He was on wobbly legs but managed to make it through the round by covering up well to parry most of Williams punches, which were pretty predictable. The same thing continued until in the sixth round Browne landed a lead right hook that put Williams down hard. Williams stayed down on the canvas and took the ten count to end the fight. Very good showing by Browne, who has never looked better. In the post fight interview Browne said that his punch was dirty in the first round after seeing the replay, initially claiming that Williams was trying to keep his balance and get up - which makes sense to me because he did try to catch himself before going down. In any case, Browne apologized for it and said multiple times that he wants to fight Adonis Stevenson.
Next up was LaMont Peterson (34-3-1, 17KO's) vs David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11KO's). Avanesyan I have only seen fight Shane Mosley - which is a tough fight to judge. Referee was Harvey Dock. The fight was for the WBA welterweight championship, which Avanesyan holds. Peterson has not fought for a whopping 16 months while Avanesyan is going on 9 months himself. In the first round we saw Peterson having a bit of a fashion statement with his throwback early 1900's boxing trunks that could pass as super short shorts. In any case, Peterson looked extremely stiff and Ava was just simply following him around the ring. In the second round Ava got busier and was putting in good body work while outworking Peterson for the first half of the round. In the second half of the round Peterson started to move forward behind his typical high guard but he still looks rusty to my eyes as he is stiff and super robotic in the ring. In the third round Ava was still the busier man but was missing and getting his punches blocked very frequently. Peterson, it should be noted, is not mounting any sort of offense though so it is hard to say who is edging these rounds out. in the coming rounds Peterson started walking forward and getting far busier than the early rounds. Peterson was taking over the fight but Ava was still in it as he tried switching between orthodox and southpaw. In the eighth round he may have edged it out by outworking Peterson, who was still coming forward but stiff as a statue and not really landing his punches clean. Peterson continued ramping up as the rounds went by - even into the championship rounds where Ava was in great condition but Peterson, being a marathoner, is ready for 20 rounds. Peterson finished very strong and would end up with the well deserved UD win. He had to shake off some ring rust but to my eyes he still finished stiff and looking a bit rusty.
Main event time featuring Adrien Broner (32-2, 24KO's) vs Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12KO's). Granados is a former sparring partner of Broner that had a huge upset win over Amir Imam. Referee was Ernie Sharif. Granados got off to a hot start as he was light on his feet and even showing boating, while darting in and out on Broner while throwing quick combinations. Broner was doing a lot of holding on the inside and did not get the engine started until the second round when he got the jab popping and make Granados miss. In the third round Granados was bleeding from the nose heavily due to an accidental clash of heads but more importantly Broner took the fight over in this round from his sharp punching and ring generalship. Granados is trying to box from the outside but it is not working when he needs to be working. Granados is expending a ton of energy and trying so extremely hard but it is not effective. Meanwhile Broner is landing great counters and nailing Granados with left hooks as well as uppercuts on the inside. Granados is having his moments of course but the cleaner, more effective work halfway through the fight is still Broner. In the sixth round it looked to me like Granados was fading while Broner was still coming on strong. This was evidenced in inside exchanges, where Broners punches were hard and crisp while Granados had a leaky, a bit lackadaisical defense and sluggish offense at times. Broner walked down Granados in the seventh round and was putting heavier damage on him as the rounds went on. In the ninth round Broner showed great conditioning - making me wonder if he could not make the weight because he can no longer be a 140lb'er or if it was tactical. In any case, the ninth round was all Broner as Granados was tired and getting sloppier as the fight goes on while Broner is landing left hooks and right uppercuts a plenty. Both men laid it out on the liner in the tenth and final round, with Broner landing a big right hand that made it look like Granados fell on him from the power of the punch. Granados came to fight, as usual, and finished throwing punches while Broner did heavy damage with his tighter and more compact punching while Granados was arm weary. The story of the fight is really Broners left hook and right uppercut. The cards came in 97-93 Broner, 97-93 Granados, and 96-94 Broner for the split decision win. The post fight interv iew was a long and interesting one that is rarely seen in boxing. It had ebbs and flows like a good fight does, where it makes you wonder what is real and what is for the cameras. Because of course Granados went off on the scales and weight issue, saying that he had to knock him out to win, but then Broner went off saying he won easily but yet Granados was a very tough fight. It was back and forth, with Broner even saying that Granados was going to party with him post fight because they are friends. Interesting thing to analyze.