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Maidana solves “the Problem” to secure Welterweight Title

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December 14, 2013

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On Saturday night, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Argentine tough guy Marcos “El Chino” Maidana won the WBA Welterweight World Title with a convincing thumping of the self-obsessed Adrien "The Problem" Broner on the World Championship Boxing show of the Showtime Channel.

The 30-year-old former 140-pound world champion was supposed to be just a “test” for the egomaniac, a test Broner failed miserably. After being stunned in their first exchange, Maidana poured it on and overwhelmed the ex-champion for two straight rounds, scoring a knockdown in the second and forcing Broner back on his unsteady legs.

It wasn’t until the third round that Broner settled in and began to look like a creditable opponent. Broner had his moments, but Maidana won the bout by throwing from a multitude of angles and consistently landing his punishing left hook.

In the thrilling eighth round, Maidana landed a series of lethal blows including a final left hook that sent Broner wobbling to the canvas for the second time. In their next exchange, Broner started holding Maidana in the clinches. In response Maidana uncorked a head butt to Broner’s chin.

Referee Lawrence Cole dutifully deducted a point for the foul which scratched a point off Maidana’s earlier knockdown. Then, for the remainder of the bout, Maidana went to work out-performing Broner.

After the scores were announced, 117-109, 116-109 and 115-110, Broner immediately vacated the ring, as they say tail between his legs. He couldn't get to his dressing room fast enough.

At the same time, ringside reporter Barry Tompkins was busy asking Maidana about comments earlier in the week, that Broner had never faced anyone like him.

“The truth is, I’ve never fought anyone like Broner,” said the new two-division champion. “And the truth is, it was a great fight.” Regarding a rematch, he added: “Yes. No problem.”

Maidana improved his record to 35-3 (31 KOs) and is now 2-2 in world championship fights. He also did a lot to improve the sport's image. Anytime you can shut the mouth of a pompous blowhard, and then replace them with a more respectful athlete, that has to improve people's perception of the sport.

What a difference in their attitudes; what a difference in their word choices. After the fight, Maidana praised his opponent, his skills and said things like, “My respect to Adrien Broner as he fought bravely till the end. Tremendous fighter!”

In the co-feature, it was 25 year-old Keith “One Time” Thurman scoring a brutal knockout of the rugged, Mexican veteran Jesus “El Renuente” Soto Karass.

From the outset, there were fireworks. In the opening seconds of Round #1, Soto Karass stunned Thurman with a big overhand right. Thurman kept his feet, but barely, and miraculously regained his faculties. Then, in the closing seconds of the round, it was Thurman almost sending Soto Karass to the canvas.

As the fight progressed you could see Thurman was taking over. Thurman’s defense and quicker hands had him landing the more precise and powerful combinations.

Thurman sent Soto Karass to the canvas in the fifth and ended up finishing him off in the ninth after landing a big left hook followed by a mean left uppercut that landed flush to end the contest at 2:21 of round 9.

With the win, Thurman, from Clearwater, Fla., moves up another notch in that talented but deep welterweight division.

Undefeated Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, making the first defense of his Super Bantamweight title, won a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Puerto Rico’s Cesar Seda.

Santa Cruz won the bout on the strength of his trademark volume punching. He sent Seda down in the fifth round, a flash knockdown, but nonetheless it was only the second time Seda had been down in his career.

Seda kept the bout close, fighting well while backing up from the perpetual charge of Santa Cruz.

Scores were 116-111, 115-112, 117-110 as Santa Cruz improves to 26-0-1, 15 KO’s. The two-division world champion has now fought eight times in the less than two years, including six world championship fights.

His opponent disagreed with the scoring. “I thought I won the fight,” said Seda, now 25-2, 17 KOs. “The knockdown was not a knockdown. We had our legs tangled. This decision was a robbery.”

If Seda was counting on the punch stats to back up his claim, they favored Santa Cruz in a big way.

On the undercard, WBA Light Heavyweight Super Champion Beibut Shumenov defended his title with a three-round route of Tomas Kovacs in the opening bout on Showtime. Shumenov imposed his will, using his jab to set up a strong right hand and an impressive left-hook. He knocked Kovacs down in rounds one and two before finishing him with a combination at 2:55 of the third.

After the bout, during his interview, Shumenov (14-1, 9 KO’s) from Kazakhstan and fighting out of Las Vegas, looked over at Bernard Hopkins, who had just come up into the ring. He wanted a chance to face the future Hall of Famer. “My main goal is to unify the titles,” said Shumenov. “I know Bernard (Hopkins) wants to fight me. I’d be honored. He’s a truly a legendary champion. I would be honored…. I am ready.”

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.”

Ricard “Dinamita” Alvarez (28-4, 20 KO’s), the brother of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, defeated Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KO’s) via majority decision (95-95, 96-94, 98-92) in a close, competitive fight. According to the SHO Stats, Salka was the more active fighter and landed more punches (174-136) and power punches (89-88) than Alvarez.

“I clearly out boxed him,” Salka said. “I’m not making an excuse. I landed shots when I wanted to land them. I was making him miss. What else am I supposed to do? If you’re being real generous you could give him three rounds. He was swinging wild and missing shots while I was landing clean punches. It’s bull.....”

Undefeated lightweight prospect Robert Easter, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), kicked off the telecast with a bang, registering his eighth KO in as many fights when he knocked out Hardy M. Paredes (16-13, 10 KOs) in the first round. Easter landed two textbook hooks to finish Easter; one to the head followed immediately by one to the body. Paredes took a knee. Then two and the referee counted him out at 2:30 of the first round.

In the non-televised portion of the show…

Former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (32-4-1, 20 KOs) scored a seventh-round TKO (2:58) over journeyman J. C. Candelo (32-13-4, 21 KO’s) in a super middleweight clash. Undefeated lightweight prospect from Coram, New York, Jamell Herring (6-0, 4 KOs) scored a second round TKO (2:59) over Lance Williams (6-3, 6 KOs) of Muscatine, Iowa. In the first bout of the evening, former Olympian and now undefeated bantamweight prospect Rau’Shee Warren (17-0, 3 KOs) won an eight-round unanimous decision (80-72 three times) over Jose Silveira (15-10, 6 KOs).

Saturday’s Telecast will replay:
Sunday, December 15 at 9 a.m. PT on Showtime
Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. PT on Showtime Extreme
Also available on Showtime on Demand & Showtime Anytime beginning Sunday, December 15

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