Adrien Broner was stripped of his WBO junior lightweight title on Friday when he weighed in more than 3 pounds overweight.
However, following his fifth-round technical knockout of Vicente Escobedo on Saturday night, Broner promised there would be many more title chances as he moves up to the 135-pound class.
“I’m going out of my weight class, and I’ll take on anyone,” Broner said moments after his TKO of the top-ranked WBO contender at 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the fifth.
“Vicente is a world-class fighter. I can’t take anything away from him, but he didn’t hit me with anything significant. I make all my work easy,” he said.
Broner improved to 24-0 with 20 knockouts.
Saturday’s fight was billed as Broner’s second WBO title defense, but he was stripped of his title on Friday after weighing in 3.5 pounds above the 130-pound limit.
Broner weighed in again on Saturday, this time tipping the scales at 143.5 pounds, which Escobar’s camp said was over the newly agreed-upon 140-pound limit. Both sides came to an agreement on Saturday afternoon to fight as scheduled.
Escobedo, who fell to 26-4, said he did not regret the decision to fight.
“I had to keep to my decision,” he said. “I came in on weight like a professional. And he didn’t.”
Broner, wearing fluorescent green shoes and trunks with his nickname “The Problem” stitched on the front, remained patient with Escobedo until the fifth when he finished off the California native.
“He definitely felt stronger,” Escobedo said. “I felt his power. He’s fast and hard to hit. He’s too quick.”
Broner, 22, was fighting in his hometown for the first time since November when he knocked out Vicente Rodriguez to earn the WBO title.
Also on Saturday at US Bank Arena, Ra’eese Aleem earned a six-round decision over DeVonte Allen in the junior lightweight division.
A pair of Cincinnati natives earned victories with heavyweight David Long earning a technical knockout of Quincey Palmer at 2:09 of the first round and Brandon Bennett winning by majority decision over John Nater.
Middleweight Chris Pearson improved to 7-0 with a second-round win TKO of Angel Hernandez. Omar Figueroa earned a 10-round decision over Dominic Salcido.
In the co-main event on Saturday, Clearwater, Florida, native Keith Thurman improved to 18-0 with a TKO of Orlando Lora at 1:37 of the sixth round.
Lora lost for just the third time in 32 bouts.
“I wasn’t in a rush,” Thurman said. “I worked him round by round. I’m young and hungry. I’m bringing the thunder.”