Marcos Rene Maidana overpowered Adrien Broner to take the WBA welterweight championship, knocking him down twice in a unanimous decision on Saturday night.
Maidana was dominant in handing Broner his first loss in 28 bouts. After the judges’ scores of 115-110, 116-109 and 117-109 were announced in favor of the Argentine boxer, Broner ran out of the ring.
“I had to show a lot of heart to win this fight,” Maidana said. “I did what I had to do to win.”
Broner is nicknamed “The Problem,” but Maidana (35-3) had the answer in power that the three-time world champion had never faced before.
“I’m OK. I’m still the three-time world champion in three different weight classes,” Broner said. “Tonight, Maidana was just the better man, but we fought a hell of a fight.”
With the victory, the Argentine boxer set up a possible fight against the US’ Keith Thurman, who stopped Jesus Soto Karass in the ninth round on the undercard.
Maidana landed 231 of 663 power punches, while connecting on only 38 jabs. The power stunned the confident Broner, who was unable to use the fluid counter-punching that had resulted in 22 knockouts and made him one of the sport’s top stars.
Maidana staggered Broner early in the opening round with an overhand right to the back of the head, causing the American to stumble trying to regain his footing.
Maidana then sent Broner tumbling into the ropes early in the second round with a lunging left hook to the chin. After a standing eight count, Broner charged and wrapped up Maidana’s upper legs in an attempt to recover.
Maidana landed 57 punches in the opening two rounds to Broner’s 13, but the American regained his balance, spending the next five rounds trading punches and clenches before Maidana took control.
Maidana floored Broner in the eighth round with a left to the midsection and an overhand right. After another standing eight count, Broner was hit in the jaw by Maidana’s head and went to the canvas again.
Maidana pummeled Broner again in the ninth round, unleashing combination after combination the American struggled to avoid.
On the undercard, Thurman (22-0) stunned Soto Karass (28-9-3) with a left hook to the chin that had the Mexican fighter out on his feet. Defenseless, Soto Karass took four more heavy blows before the referee stopped the bout.
Earlier, Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz (26-0-1) defended his WBC super bantamweight championship, unanimously outpointing Cesar Seda of Puerto Rico.
Also, Beibut Shumenov of Kazakhstan stopped Slovakia’s Tomas Kovacs in the third round to keep his WBA super light heavyweight championship.