Adrien Broner fails to impress with victory over Jovanie Santiago
Four-divisional champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (34-4-1, 24ko) is back, and this could be his last chance on the big stage. The Problem wanted to impress after a two-year hiatus against the undefeated but unknown Jovanie “El Lobito” Santiago.
Santiago is coming from a rich boxing background being raised in Puerto Rico. This is a huge step-up fight for him and a victory would have taken him from being an unknown to a wildcard in the welterweight division.
Broner is the main story. The boxing world hasn’t seen him in the ring since losing to Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao in January 2019. In his last three fights, he has a record of 0-2-1. Over the last couple of years, the Ohio fighter has become more infamous for his antics outside of the ring over his accolades inside it.
The Problem has claimed to have finally seen the light and promises to impress fans. Despite not living up to expectations, he continues to attract fans and needs to prove that he can be a major player in a stacked welterweight division.
THE RETURN OF “AB”
This fight started slow and uneventful as both fighters were feinting looking to counter-punch. Broner was landing the jab, but as usual, the low output was hurting him as Santiago was landing going to the body and following up top with overhand rights.
The Problem was beginning to pot-shot while trying to catch his opponent off balance. However, he was only throwing one punch at a time. Santiago was turning up the aggression landing more hard combinations to the body while the four-divisional champion was up against the ropes.
The fourth round would end with both fighters throwing punches after the bell. The Puerto Rican fighter landed a left hook in retaliation to Broner landing a shot after the bell first. This caused the referee to immediately take one point away from Santiago for the infraction.
THE CHALLENGER CAME TO FIGHT
In the middle rounds, the Puerto Rican was being very aggressive. He kept going to the body but now found more success with his own jab. Broner was effective at landing the uppercuts and the check left hook as his opponent moved in. Nevertheless, those shot were still coming one at a time.
Then in the eighth round, Broner let his hands go a little more. He found a home for the left hook and started landing it at will. He was an inch away from getting credited for a knockdown as Santiago barely avoided letting his glove touch the canvas in an attempt of trying to keep his balance after tasting a hook. This was the moment where Broner started to look like the superior fighter in the ring.
FINALLY COMING TO LIFE
The former champion begins to come alive as the fight entered the closing rounds. He picked up the pace by letting the hands go more behind the jab and continued to find a home for the left hook. Santiago kept the pressure up by going to the body. Although, his punch output was slowing down. This provided the opportunity for The Problem to land the jab, use his footwork and maintain distance while landing the overhand right behind the jab.
Santiago was not going to go away easy despite his face showing the effects of those hooks and overhand rights. He fought like a demon trying to land all he could as the fight seemed to be slipping away. Before the the start of the twelfth round, his corner implored he go for the knockout because he was down on the cards.
Of course Broner wouldn’t be “The Problem” if he did not give his opponent the opportunity to come back. As a result, he reverted back to looking to only counter-punch, again limiting his output to only one punch at a time in the twelfth round. Santiago responded by continuing to pressure his opponent as he moved desperately tried to go for the knockout. The fact that Broner limited his attack again allowed the desperation of Santiago to take the final round!
In the end, it would not be enough. The judges felt the former champion did enough with two judges having wide scorecards of 116-111 and 117-110. The third judge felt the fight was a little closer, turning in a 115-112 scorecard. 3kingsboxing.com scored the fight 114-113 for Broner. The one-point deduction ended up being the difference.
AB still has the same issues lack of activity and waiting too long to start fighting. It is hard to see him become a player in the welterweight division after this performance.
By: Garrisson Bland