Last night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, WBA welterweight titlist Adrien Broner discovered that saying something and actually doing it are two very different things as he was knocked off by big-punching Argentinian Marcos Rene Maidana.
The media build-up to this contest turned contentious as it neared the end with Broner adopting his usual brash persona, vowing to not only defeat Maidana but also take over the sport after Floyd Mayweather retires.
That dream was destroyed early on in the very first round when Maidana connected with a hard left hook while Broner was committing the cardinal sin of pulling straight back from a punch.
From that point on until the end of the second frame, Maidana assaulted Broner with left hooks, sending the champion all over the place. Broner could not maintain the distance he likes to keep from opponents and was knocked down in the second. He was quickly back up, perhaps too soon, as his legs were rubbery.
Broner managed to not only beat the count but also to survive the rest of the way with what appeared to be a possibly damaged jaw, resulting from the champion's other bad habit of fighting with his mouth open.
Broner regained his composure in the third, holding his ground and maintaining distance as Maidana could not repeat his success of the previous two rounds.
The fourth was similar to the third but Maidana was getting closer, landing a couple of punches but also getting caught with Broner's counters.
The action heated up a bit in the fifth as Broner had success with jabs and right hands but was also now getting hit with Madiana's body shots. Broner started coming forward in the sixth, landing a good uppercut and going to the Maidana's midsection. The challenger gathered himself in the second half of the round, landing a few shots.
Maidana came out hard in the seventh as he had in the first round but soon settled down as Broner wasn't near as easy to hit flush. By this point, Broner has taken to blatantly shoving Maidana off as he doesn't have the power to do so with punches.
There are some good exchanges when Maidana does get inside but the challenger's punches seem to be harder. Broner has a good early eighth round, getting in a good left hook, which gives him the confidence to get aggressive.
But this new approach also loosens his defensive focus and Maidana gets in a snapping left hook followed by another and Broner is down again halfway through the round. He beat the count and instantly locked Maidana into a tght clinch. Maidana reacted by headbutting Broner very hard under the chin and then punching him with the left.
Broner walked to a corner and fell over, rolling around on the floor as Maidana was having a point taken away by referee Laurence Cole.
Maidana goes to work on Broner at the start of the ninth, battering the champion on the ropes, including another sharp left hook. Amid this assault, Maidana fouls Broner as he holds him by the neck with one hand and punches him with the other until stopped by Cole.
Broner then just backs way from Maidana for most of the round, trying to buy time to clear his head. By the end of the round Broner had regained his bearings and finished the round strong.
The tenth sees both fighters very tired but Broner is holding his ground as each man lands a few shots. Broner is the more active fighter in the eleventh and while he's getting in some decent punches, he's also getting hit with left hooks but there isn't much on Maidana's punches anymore. Broner nails Maidana with a hard left hand a good second after the bell.
Despite the exhaustion, the boxers make an effort in the twelfth. Broner hurts Maidana with a sharp right hand that has the challenger back pedaling. Broner stalks but is getting hit with lefts that, again, have little effect. Broner gets in a couple of combinations until Maidana shakes him with a left.
The round ends and when scores of 115-110, 116-109, 117-109 are read, they are all awarded to Marcos Rene Maidana, the new WBA welterweight champion.
Maidana goes to 35-3 (31) and has now won world titles in two weight classes. Broner, also a two weight world champion, albeit former, suffers his first loss, dropping to 27-1 (22).
Perhaps this outcome should not have come as a surprise as Broner's two prior opponents, Paulie Malignaggi and Gavin Rees, had no difficulty in hitting Broner but lacked the concussive punch power Maidana.
The undercard was full of big fights.
WBC super bantam champion Leo Santa Cruz, 26-0-1 (15), dropped challenger Cesar Seda, 25-2 (17), in the fifth enroute to posting a 117-110, 116-111, 115-112 unanimous decision victory.
Beibut Shumenov, 14-1 (9), WBA "super" light heavy titlist, halted challenger Tamas Kovacs, 23-1 (14), at 2:55 of the third.
Interim WBA welter beltholder Keith Thurman, 22-0 (20), finished off challenger Jesus Soto-Karass, 28-9-3 (18), at 2:21 of the ninth.