Ex-WBO super featherweight champ Adrien Broner made a successful jump up to the lightweight division on Saturday evening, taking apart the top man of the division, Antonio DeMarco, and taking the Mexican's WBC 135 pound title at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Broner leveraged his edge in speed, accuracy and surprisingly, power, to batter DeMarco in rounds four through seven before capping off his impressive performance with a shattering left uppercut in the eighth that was one punch too many for the champion, who was counted out after taking a knee at 1:49 of the round.
DeMarco won the first round on activity as Broner was in study mode but by the second frame, the challenger from Cincinnati had thrown away the textbooks and set about to schooling his much taller southpaw adversary.
DeMarco generally wins fights by standing right in front of opponents and outfighting them but was unable to make an adjustment to this form when it became obvious that Broner was far too quick and accurate for this approach.
Broner was able to take the punches that DeMarco did land but most of the champion's successes did not land flush due the the challenger's fast reaction time.
Round after round featured Broner weaving a masterful blend of fluid offense and defense that took the sting out of DeMarco's lethal punches and turned the Tijuana man into a visibly beaten fighter.
By the middle rounds, DeMarco began to show the effects of the torrent of leather he'd absorbed but showed a tremendous heart as he never stopped trying to get to grips with his antagonist.
With the win, Broner, 25-0 (21), sits atop the lightweight division and could be in line for unification matches with IBF king Miguel Vazquez or WBO boss Ricky Burns.
The co-main event in Atlantic City saw leading American heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell suffer an exposure at the hands of NABF titlist and former IBO/NABO cruiserweight champion Johnathon Banks.
The previously undefeated Mitchell, 25-1-1 (19), had run roughshod over a casting call of the usual record-building suspects during his nearly five year pro career but had recently been stepped up a level and posted early round stoppages against Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon.
This course of study, however, did not manage to prepare Mitchell for the examination against Banks, 29-1-1 (19), who's only loss was a 2009 shortfall in an IBF/IBO cruiserweight title fight against Tomasz Adamek.
The stakes were high coming into this one with the NABO and vacant WBC International straps up for grabs but the real prize on offer was the WBC semi-final eliminator status that would greatly benefit the winner.
Mitchell started well, maximizing his 23 pound weight advantage by aggressively going after Banks and landing hard shots. But Banks was biding his time, waiting for an opening.
That opportunity came in the second when an over-eager Mitchell left himself open and was nailed by a pinpoint left uppercut followed up with a right. Mitchell was caught flush and badly hurt as he fell to the canvas.
The former collegiate football player managed to beat the count but was soon clipped with a crisp right and sent to the floor again. Bravely, Mitchell got up once again but when he was dropped a third time, the contest was waived off at 2:37 of the second.
The win comes at a difficult time for Banks, who's longtime trainer Emmanuel Steward passed away recently and served as an inspiration in this victory over Mitchell.
The Detroit based heavyweight filled in for Steward last week by serving as trainer to world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in a victory over opponent Mariusz Wach.