Mitchell Exposed, Froch, Broner Rising

As expected in last night’s main event Adrien Broner was fast and accurate in his domination of Antonio DeMarco. While Broner took his first fight in a new weight class against a competent opponent, his past record and evident athleticism make him the favorite against anyone up to 140. He may well be on his way to fights with bigger names, demonstrating unstoppable skill and an educated approach. Last night DeMarco looked at least halfway decent in the early rounds. In fact, I had never seen anyone land such a good straight punch on Broner’s chin. It seemed as if Broner warmed up in the middle rounds and began slipping punches better and getting to DeMarco’s body. As DeMarco slowed, Broner began to look unreasonably fast and all but unhittable. DeMarco reverted again and again to an old habit of laying forward against his opponent’s chest, hoping to work inside, but without fail, every single time, Adrien Broner quickly became aware of the gaping hole in DeMarco’s defense and began ripping right and left uppercuts to set up combinations. At first they just glanced off DeMarco’s forehead, sometimes sending him up toward a brutal hook or straight right, but as time wore on Broner began breaking through DeMarco’s defense and targeting any spot he chose. DeMarco put on a valiant effort but his trainer mercifully stopped the fight after it became obvious that the fighter was finished.
In the undercard heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell was exposed for the offense-only cardinal flaw that so often weeds out top heavyweight competition. Veteran Jonathan Banks was able to withstand the power and range of the larger Mitchell and then quickly capitalize when Mitchell opened his defense. Banks had an easy time once Mitchell was stunned because the former football player clearly had no experience shelling up after taking a hard shot. Mitchell’s elbows were out and his hands were out in front of his face as suffered three knockdowns from the smaller Banks. After the fight Larry Merchant asked Seth Mitchell if the results of the fights shattered his dreams for heavyweight glory. Mitchell, of course, responded “not at all,” but I think the point the HBO analyst was making was that no one is going to be interested in seeing Mitchell fight Jonathan Banks again, much less a Klitschko.
Carl Froch also proved his dominance against Yusaf Mack yesterday. Mack had disadvantages in speed, power, reach and class. Froch measured Mack briefly but even scored a quick knockdown with a lazy long-reaching left in the first round before Mack was able to land a significant punch. Announcers enthusiastically speculated about the reaction of Mikkel Kessler and of Andre Ward. A fight with veteran super-middleweight Mikkel Kessler does, in fact, sound like an intriguing battle, but they were getting a little over-excited with the comments about Ward. I was there when Ward beat Froch and I think even Froch has no interest in attempting the impossible.

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