Last night, “The Magic Man” set out to defend his welterweight belt for a second time against “The Problem”. I scored the fight 115-113 for Adrien Broner but I believe Paulie did enough to insert a little doubt in “The Problems” agenda for the night, as well as anyone else who might have been overly confident of Broner’s jump to the welterweight arena. “The Problem” was ruthless in unsheathing his right on Paulie’s face, but I think Paulie was able to figure out his range early. It was just too bad that Paulie’s body (and his taunts) betrayed him and revealed too much, which Broner was happy to oblige towards the ends of rounds to steal back points.
I tweeted that the Detroit Style was showing its benefits, as Broner displayed around the 4th round onwards as he felt brave enough to enter Paulie’s range when he found out that his punches did not hurt. His left shoulder was barely hit as he swiveled his torso to glance away Paulie’s combinations, but did leave him open to jabs in the face as Paulie decided not to invest on “The Problem’s” body in the later rounds. It’s just that now Adrien was implementing the neck roll in addition to his shoulder roll for “The Magic Man’s” dinner. Adrien might have gotten hurt, but definitely did not show it, other than exacting his revenge two-fold by punishing Paulie with rights to the face.
It made me think about Naazim Richardson’s apt quote: “Mayweather is a defensive-minded fighter with an exceptional offense, Broner is a offensive-minded fighter with a great defense.” Looking at the tapes might have revealed that Broner might be fighting in the same shadow as Mayweather, but Paulie was able to pull the curtains on Broner’s fight game to demonstrate how Mayweather is really leagues ahead of “The Problem” exactly because of Mayweather’s defensive-mindedness. Mayweather steps into the ring tirelessly wanting to win every round; however, Broner steps into the ring wanting to to embarrass his opponent with the combined weight of his undeniable talent and ego. If Broner isn’t able to hurt his opponent, his game plan is all for naught, which is what the entire class of welterweights are probably licking their chops to. Broner’s right was indeed a laser-targeted piston, but his laser took milli-seconds too long to home into Paulie’s head because of how “The Problem” wanted to unload his entire power onto each of his punches. Even when Broner seemed satisfied in laying it all on Paulie’s face, “The Magic Man” did not hesitate in firing back or sticking his tongue, which must’ve been extremely annoying to Adrien. And being that last night was the only time he’s gone the full 12-round distance, he might have been more prudent to be a little bit more generous to unload an Uzi of lefts instead, as he showed glimmers of in the later rounds as he grew impatient and targeted the body and head. Broner seemed to enjoy sitting on his stool in the later rounds, with a heavy sigh before getting back to work. If he is to be successful in his later fights, he must increase his endurance and develop his defense to complement his offense. Naazim reveals with his quote above that since Mayweather is defense-first, he creates opportunities for his offense to be effective. Broner’s defense looked like an acceptable knock-off of Mayweather’s because he’d dodge, but that was it. Sure Adrien, that didn’t hurt, but did you punish Paulie? Naw, he already danced away. Mayweather in contrast kept his eyes wide open while dodging, inserting commas, semicolons and even exclamation mark blows in between an opponents stanza combinations. This gap is what Broner must realize as he develops into what his fans hope he’ll be.
Maybe, like Mayweather, Broner doesn’t see the point in showing much this early in his career just yet. His right uppercut could benefit in more honing as the welterweight division will certainly lean their weight on Broner in close quarters. Paulie demonstrated hall-of-fame class boxing, showing a little bit of homework that would benefit the stacked welterweight class in trying to figure out “The Problem”.
I’m supremely glad we have the benefit of seeing Broner in a new light, especially as Paulie showed us a little bit more behind that curtain of the Mayweather School of Boxing. There are a few chinks that can be exploited with head movement, feints, and body work that I’m sure other welterweights are watching. Soon enough, we might see someone like Marcos Maidana, or maybe even Pacquiao exploit those details.