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Broner Puts WBO Crown At Risk Tonight Against Escobedo

Tonight at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH, local hero Adrien Broner throws his WBO super feather belt up for grabs when he faces the challenge posed by California's Vincente Escobedo.

Just 22 years of age, the fast handed Broner, 23-0 (19), will look to retain the WBO strap for the second time since annexing the vacant title in November with a third round KO of Vincente Martin Rodriguez.

Most recently, "The Problem" was in the ring against previously undefeated Eloy Perez in February, handling the Washington man's challenge with little difficulty before ending matters in the fourth.

Additionally, Broner has racked up good wins against Jason Litzau and William Kickett and has really one had one difficult contest, a disputed unanimous decision over hard-hitting former WBO super bantam boss Daniel Ponce De Leon in March, 2003.

The team of challenger Escobedo, 26-3 (15), will no doubt have studied the Ponce De Leon fight and it is an interesting scenario to see if their charge can pull off a similar performance.

Escobedo did not have the same smooth rise through the ranks as did Broner, as the West Coast man slipped on a banana peel just a year and a half into his career with a split decision loss to Darling Jimenez in 2006.

Undeterred, Escobedo got back in the saddle and reeled off 12 consecutive victories, counting faded world former champions Kevin Kelly and Carlos Hernandez among his victims, before losing a split decision to Aussie hard man Michael Katsidis for the Interim WBO lightweight strap in 2009.

A year later, Escobedo was roughed up and dropped twice by ex-two weight world champ Robert Guerrero for the vacant WBO Intercontinental trophy.

Escobedo went on to win four straight, including a victory over former Olympian medallist Rocky Juarez and most recently a ten round UD against Juan Ruiz in May.

In general, the challenger has faced better opposition during his career than Broner and will bring advantages of height, reach and possibly strength, to Cincinnati, but those attributes probably won't mean anything once the bell rings at US Bank Arena.

Broner is a much faster, slicker boxer than Escobedo and the challenger's sturdy chin will certainly get a testing as the champion can put a lot of heavy leather on target.

And that will probably be the key factor in the bout: Escobedo's durability.

Escobedo will almost certainly get beaten to the punch during the first half of the contest and will have to keep his confidence and aggression going despite what should be a big edge in shots landed for the champion.

If Escobedo can take the fight into the later rounds, Broner could run out of gas and be there to hit, having his own chin tested as it will probably take a knockout for Escobedo to win this.

The more likely outcome, however, sees Broner lashing the challenger with both hands, punishing Escobedo into either a referee stoppage or a wide unanimous decision after 12 one-sided rounds.

About Richard Eberline

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