- WBA Welterweight
Maidana unloads, upsets Broner
Like a man possessed, Marcos Maidana was not going to be denied.
The brawling, mauling, slugging power puncher from Argentina bolted from his corner for the first round and never stopped attacking Adrien Broner, the Floyd Mayweather Jr wannabe who showed that he is nowhere near the pound-for-pound king he models himself after and calls his "big brother".
Maidana overwhelmed Broner with his power shots and won a unanimous decision and a welterweight world title in a sensational brawl before 11,312 wild fans on Saturday night at the Alamodome.
It was a potential fight of the year, in which Broner got knocked down twice, was nearly knocked out numerous times and survived in as dramatic a fight as you will see.
Broner took more punishment in the first two rounds than Mayweather has probably taken in his entire career.
"The plan was to fight any which way we can do it, and we won," Maidana said through a translator. "This win is very satisfying to me. My plan was to win with my heart and keep going forward. Every time I landed a punch, I felt like I was hurting him."
Broner declined to be interviewed in the ring after the fight, but he agreed to be interviewed by Showtime after the telecast went off the air.
"All I can do is go back to the drawing board and come back and fight my ass off," Broner said. "I'm OK. Things happen. I fought a hell of a fight, but he was the better man tonight. We can rematch it anytime."
Broner's trainer, Mike Stafford, admitted that it wasn't Broner's night.
"I don't think he was on tonight," Stafford said. "I thought it was a little closer than they had it, but I just don't think he was on tonight."
The judges all scored it for Maidana, 117-110, 116-109 and 115-100. ESPN.com also had it for Maidana 116-109.
When the fight started, Maidana bolted to Broner and was all over him. He had Broner in serious trouble as he winged hard shots from all angles. Broner was holding on as the crowd chanted, "Chino! Chino! Chino," Maidana's nickname.
He was hammering Broner, who looked shocked by what was happening. He outlanded Broner 26-6 in the round, according to CompuBox, and never let up.
Maidana barreled back at Broner in the wild second round and nearly ended the fight, leveling him with a mean left hook. Broner was badly hurt, and Maidana was all over him when the fight resumed. He was hitting him with chopping right hands, and Broner's nose was bleeding as the crowd went wild.
Maidana was crushing Broner, who, to his credit, showed huge heart to stay on his feet.
When Broner, who was making his first title defense, outpointed Paulie Malignaggi to win the 147-pound belt by split decision in June, Broner was facing a slick boxer. But Maidana is a brutal puncher, and he landed numerous heavy blows.
"I'm not here to make any excuses," Broner said. "We're not going to sit in sorrow. We're still going to live tomorrow like we won the fight. I'm still going to party and have fun. My first afterparty is going to be on Tuesday in Cincinnati. We gonna have fun."
According to CompuBox statistics, Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) landed 269 of 964 punches (28 percent), including 101 body shots, while Broner connected on 149 of 400 punches (37 percent). But every shot Maidana, 30, landed seemed to shake Broner.
"I think it was an unbelievable performance," Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer said. "You just saw that Maidana was not going to be denied. He just wanted it more. Broner has to go back to the drawing board. His defense clearly didn't work.
"It was Maidana's night. It was his biggest night and opens the door to many great fights."
Maidana continued to apply relentless pressure on Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) and landed another hard left hook to knock him down in the eighth round.
But Maidana lost his two-point advantage in the round when he purposely head-butted Broner on the chin when they were in a clinch and referee Laurence Cole deducted a point.
Maidana, a former junior welterweight titlist, continued to work over Broner, who has won titles in three weight classes, in the ninth round, rocking him with left hooks. Broner was desperate to hold, but Maidana continued to fire.
After the 10th round, Stafford was honest with Broner, telling him he needed a knockout to win. Broner tried and hurt Maidana in the 11th round.
"I was hurt in the 11th round," Maidana said. "[Broner] is a great champion, and I was hurt." Broner, 24, of Cincinnati, also had Maidana in some trouble in the 12th round but not enough to overcome the big points deficit. "It was a very tough fight," Maidana said. "I had to show that I had a lot of heart so that I could win this fight. I just did what I had to do."
Maidana said he was open to a rematch and Schaefer said it's a possibility. Schaefer said there was no rematch clause in the contract, but it was such a dramatic fight that a sequel would make sense.
"I'll tell you one thing: Make a rematch," Broner said. "I don't need a warm-up fight. I want a rematch." Schaefer questioned whether Broner would even remain at welterweight, however. He still holds a lightweight title and could drop back down to 135 pounds or go to junior welterweight.
"He is going to have to see if he wants to stay at 147 or go down," Schaefer said. "He came in way below 147 at the weigh-in [144.4], and he told me can still make 135. Maybe he will go back down.
"As for Maidana, he had the same fire and hunger I saw in 2009 when he went in against another fighter who was supposed to be the next big pay-per-view star, Victor Ortiz, and you saw what happened there."
Maidana made Ortiz quit in the sixth round of a wild fight.
"Here, he came again with the same energy," Schaefer said. "I think he was possessed. He felt disrespected by Broner, and all the frustrations that built up came out when the first bell rang. He came out and unloaded."
And unloaded. And unloaded. And unloaded some more.
This article originally appeared on ESPN.com