He may have lost the WBO super feather title Friday on the scales, but local hero Adrien Broner stamped his entry into the lightweight division with an authoritative fifth round battering of Vincente Escobedo at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH.
Unable to make the super feather limit by more than three pounds the day before the fight, Broner announced that would be campaigning in the 135 pound class from now on, while Escobedo showed professionalism coming in right on target at 130 pounds.
Once the bell rang at US Bank Arena, Broner showed his Floyd Mayweather Jr-like stance and style, patiently walking down Escobedo, who displayed a crisp form, working behind the jab to try and keep the heavier man at a distance.
Escobedo did well in the early rounds, getting in a few jabs and the odd glancing power shot while Broner was content to pick off or slip most his rival's efforts, jabbing to the body while unleashing the occasional swift counter shot.
As the rounds wore on, Broner began to get closer and Escobedo made the mistake of trying to hold his ground, attempting to match the former champion punch for punch.
By the fourth, Broner started to rip hard shots from both hands to Escobedo's sides, softening up the Californian while forcing him to lower his hands on defense.
The fifth saw Broner become much more business-like, putting his rival under a hail leather as the punches flew with remarkable speed and accuracy with Escobedo sustaining a nosebleed.
The punishment was one-sided and Escobedo started to unravel along the ropes, prompting his corner to throw in the towel at 2:42 of the fifth.
Broner stays undefeated at 24-0 (20), Escobedo falls to 26-4 (15) and the WBO super belt remains vacant.
After the bout, Broner called out several big names in the lightweight division but it is most likely, as the newly installed WBO number one challenger at 135 pounds, that the Cincinnati man would face the winner of the September 22 WBO title clash between champion Ricky Burns and Kevin Mitchell.
Interestingly, Burns gave up the WBO super feather crown and moved up to lightweight in 2011 rather than to defend against Broner, who picked up that vacant belt shortly afterward.
Against either Burns or Mitchell, Broner would undoubtedly be the favorite to take the title, even if the bout was to be held in the UK.
On the undercard, crafty welterweight Keith Thurman, 18-0 (17), effectively dealt with the pressure put on by aggressive but slow-handed opponent Orlando Lora, 29-3-2 (19), before knocking down Lora with a left hook and prompting the Mexican to quit at 1:37 of the sixth.