In the end, the foot speed, hand speed and power of Adrien "The Problem" Broner was too much for Vicente Escobedo this past Saturday night in Cincinnati.
Broner, with all of his trash talk, ring entrance with rapper Waka Flocka, failure to make weight and flaunting that failure with Twitter pictures of junk food, backed it all up with a TKO of Escobedo on HBO.
Give him his props. The blue Cincinnati Reds cap was pretty sharp. But this guy Broner is just ridiculous. Winding up before his punches like he's Apollo Creed from Rocky. Setting up a national TV and live audience with what looked like a marriage proposal to a lovely young woman, only to ask her, on bended knee, to brush his hair.
It would be nice if he had a little more respect for his craft.
But Broner is a puncher. He seems to be able to do it all. The weigh-in fiasco aside and being stripped of his WBO junior lightweight title, he's 24-0 and moving up to the lightweight division. Broner is a few days away from turning 23, and is already yapping like Floyd Mayweather with the potential to be in Mayweather's class.
Poor Escobedo had to stand there in the ring waiting for Broner's antics to end after the fight. When it was his turn to do the post-fight interview, Escobedo, of Woodland, Calif., got emotional. After giving credit to his opponent, he teared up as he talked about his baby daughter and the fact that he had to fight an unfair fight.
"I was away from my family, my wife. Just to come here and not get a fair fight, I got really emotional. But I'm here to fight and I came to fight," Escobedo told HBO's Max Kellerman, his voice halting.
Escobedo came all the way out to Ohio to fight. When that fight, and clearly an important payday, was about to be taken from him, Escobedo accepted the weight and strength advantage for Broner due to his added bulk and got in the ring.
His corner stopped the fight as soon as Escobedo got into major trouble, which was bound to happen given the direction the bout was going. Why put Escobedo through more punishment given that he'd already picked up tens of thousands of more dollars from the penalty Broner had to take for failing to make weight and the large addition to the purse Escobedo received for accepting the fight regardless?
It made good business sense to stop, even if Escobedo's pride was hurt. The guy has a family to feed. He's 30 years old and realistically, isn't likely to be more than a top contender in his weight class (lightweight/junior lightweight). He's a pro who's put together a solid career that includes the Olympics as an amateur.
As for Broner, he's got some maturing to do. He also has yet to face an opponent who can really test him. Maybe one day, that test will come from Keith "One Time" Thurman at a higher weight class. Thurman fought before Broner on Saturday, and the 23-year-old welterweight/super welterweight was impressive in a TKO victory just as he was in Las Vegas on May 5, as part of the Mayweather-Cotto undercard.