Marcos Maidana solves "The Problem" with upset decision win over Adrien Broner

December 15, 2013

In a dramatic and physical bout that arguably could be the 2013 Fight of the Year, Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana used his trademark power to defeat previously-unbeaten rising star Adrien Broner and earn the WBA Welterweight World Championship Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The 30-year-old former 140-pound world champion started off fast, hurting the supremely confident Broner immediately in the fight's opening exchange and then raining combinations on him throughout the bout.

Maidana overwhelmed the champion for two straight rounds, scoring a knockdown in the second round with a left hook and forcing Broner back on unsteady legs.

The knockdown revealed an underrated aspect of Maidana's game -- his craftiness and ring generalship.

Prior to the knockdown, Maidana had been cleverly jabbing Broner to the stomach, hoping to set up his hook for later.  It worked like charm, as Maidana feinted a jab to the body, and then leveled Broner with a left hook that put him on the canvas early.

However, Broner settled down in the middle rounds and the scorecards began to tighten.

Broner tried to walk Maidana down and put him on his heels with his superior hand speed, but Maidana would retaliate by throwing volumes of power shots from unpredictable, awkward angles and consistently landing his left hook and jab.

In Round 8, Maidana landed another big left hook that sent Broner wobbling to the canvas for a second time. Broner beat the count and then tied up Maidana for a few moments with both arms.  Because referee Lawrence Cole failed to break up the fighters properly, a frustrated Maidana unleashed an illegal and intentional head butt into Broner's chin.

Cole correctly deducted a point for the foul, which negated Maidana's knockdown and only further ratcheted up the intensity.

Broner showed heart with another late rally in Round 12, but Maidana's greater punch volume and power shots gave hime the edge on all three scorecards for a unanimous decision win, 117-109, 116-109, and 115-110.

Maidana improved his record to 35-3 (31 KOs) and is now 2-2 in world championship fights.

Keith "One Time" Thurman improves with TKO of veteran Soto Karass

In the undercard, charismatic Keith "One Time" Thurman made an emphatic statement with a brutal knockout of rugged Mexican veteran Jesus Soto Karass.

Soto Karass stunned the powerful Thurman early with a big overhand right in Round One that had Thurman on wobbly legs.  But Thurman kept his feet, utilized his underrated lateral movement and boxing skills, and rallied to close the end of the first round.

Soto Karass continued to stalk Thurman, but Thurman's boxing skills allowed him to land big shots and then retreat out of harm's way.  Gradually, Thurman broke down his opponent, finishing him at 2:21 of Round 9 with a left hook and left uppercut combination that landed flush.

The win over Soto Karass, who recently beat Andre Berto himself, elevates Thurman from a mere exciting prospect to a legitimate welterweight contender.  More than just a power puncher, Thurman is a true boxer-puncher who would be an interesting matchup for many of the division's top fighters.

Leo Santa Cruz wins again

Undefeated Leo Santa Cruz, making the first defense of his Super Bantamweight World title, won a close and hard-fought unanimous decision over Puerto Rico's Cesar Seda.

Santa Cruz won the bout thanks to his trademark volume punching, as he landed 297 total punches of 829 thrown (197 of 454 power punches; 100 of 375 jabs).  He sent Seda down with a flash knockdown in the fifth round.

The talented Seed kept the bout close, boxing well while backing up from the perpetual charge of Santa Cruz.  But in the end, Santa Cruz's work-rate proved to be too much.

The judges scored the bout 116-111, 115-112, and 117-110.  Santa Cruz improved to 26-0-1 with 15 KO's.

Shumenov stops Kovacs; Jermain Taylor gets TKO win

In other action, WBA Light Heavyweight Super Champion Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9 KO's) defended his title with a three-round route of Tomas Kovacs.  Shumenov imposed his will, using his jab to set up a strong right hand and an impressive check-left-hook. He knocked down Kovacs in rounds one and two before finishing him with a combination at 2:55 of the third.

With the win, Shumenov, hailing from Kazakhstan and fighting out of Las Vegas, could next have a showdown with boxing legend Bernard Hopkins.

"My main goal is to unify the titles," said Shumenov after the fight. "I know Bernard (Hopkins) wants to fight me. I'd be honored. He's a truly legendary champion. "

Hopkins joined the interview and added, "I hope he doesn't fight that well when we fight. That right hand was coming straight down the pike. He warmed up a bit and executed very well. It will be an honor, for me, to take his belt."

Former undisputed middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor (32-4-1, 20 KO's) also returned to the ring and scored a seventh-round TKO (2:58) over journeyman J.C. Candelo (32-13-4, 21 KO's) in a super middleweight bout.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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