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The Maryland native and his trainer believed that one day "Swift" would become a unified world champion ... and that was just part of their prophecy.

For Jarrett Hurd and his trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez, 2018 was all about fulfilling a prophecy.

Rodriguez, a self-described highly religious man, had promised Hurd that one day he would become a unified world champion.

That day came on April 7 when Hurd unified the 154-pound division with a hard-earned 12-round split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in an all-action fight at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

“It was a tough one, but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do — fight all 12 rounds and get the victory,” said Hurd, who scored a knockdown in the final minute of the bout—which was just the seventh title unification in division history.

“I didn't feel like that (I needed the knockdown). I feel like I was in control the whole fight, applying the pressure.”

Prior to the bout with Lara, Hurd had torn his rotator cuff during training. Living up to his nickname of “Swift,” Hurd underwent successful arthroscopic surgery in June and was back in the ring by December.

It took a little time to warm up in his return outing, but Hurd got going and successfully defended both is IBF and WBA titles with a fourth-round KO against James Welborn of the United Kingdom in the co-main event to the Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury heavyweight blockbuster.

“I’m just coming off surgery so I wanted to see how I worked off the jab,” Hurd said. “I felt good I was working behind the jab I got caught on the ropes and got caught with some shots and said ‘that’s enough. He got enough TV time.’ I heard the crowd and I didn’t want to get brave. So I turned it up and got the knockdown.​"​

While Hurd’s prophetic 2018 earned him the PBC’s Fighter of the Year award over notable contenders like Deontay Wilder, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Gervonta Davis and Errol Spence Jr.—the native of Accokeek, Maryland promised even bigger goals lie ahead in 2019 and beyond.

 “We definitely want Charlo,” Hurd told SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray, after the Welborn fight. “I’m calling the shots. I’m No. ​1​ right now. When I say answer the phone, answer the phone. I got the date.”

After all, becoming a unified world champion was only part of his trainer’s prophecy.

For a closer look at Jarrett Hurd, check out his fighter page.

For all of the year-end honors, visit our Best of PBC 2018 page.

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It’s no secret that Danny Garcia and his father, Angel, come in the same package. Not only that, they're pretty darn funny when they're around each other.

Since Danny was 10, Angel has been by his side professionally as his primary coach, and has shaped Danny into the fighter he is today. Danny cites Angel Garcia as being his biggest inspiration in and out of the ring.

Danny and Angel spend the majority of their time together, hanging out, dancing and doing hilarious things, most of which become social media gold. Here are the top moments Danny and Angel Garcia proved they are one of the best father-son duos in sports:

7. That time Angel tried to climb a rope ladder

I bet him 1k he couldn't do it

A video posted by Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) on

At a local fair, Danny bet Angel $1,000 he couldn’t climb a rope ladder. Angel accepted. Hilarity ensued. 

6. The year Angel had the best Father’s Day

Pops out here coolin #FathersDay #TeamDSG

A video posted by Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) on

Angel loves dancing, singing and basically doing silly things in front of the camera. This gem was filmed on Father’s Day. How appropriate.

5. The #TBT to end all #TBTs

#TBT me and pops it's been a long journey and we just getting started!

A photo posted by Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) on

This is a rare shot of Angel chiseling Danny into a great champion. At the ripe age of 10, Danny and Angel already shared a close bond—only they knew where this moment would lead.

4. The moment the Garcias won Vine

Angel Garcia made his debut on the social media site Vine last February, making for instant father-son social media gold.

3. Any time Danny teases Pops 

Teasing my pop cause he couldn't get the words right to the commercial

A video posted by Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) on

Danny and Angel Garcia are also known for the business prowess. The DSG brand has created the family an empire both in and outside of the ring for no other reason than their hard work, dedication and business acumen when taking on new ventures. However, Danny doesn’t like taking things too seriously—even at Angel’s expense. 

2. When the Garcias owned the new year

Pops dancing his way into 2015! #TeamDSG

Un vídeo publicado por Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) el

2015 is going to be a big year for Danny. So what better way to start off the new year with an Angel Garcia dance-off?

And...the top social media moment that shows why the Garcias are the top father-son duo in sports:

Let's get it

A video posted by Danny Swift Garcia (@dannyswiftgarcia) on

What's better than this? A father and son getting it done in the ring.

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The legendary former heavyweight champion discusses a variety of topics as he prepares to face Robert Helenius in an explosive FOX Sports Pay-Per-View Headliner from Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

It's a Bombzquad takeover as former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder invades The PBC Podcast this week. Wilder discusses a number of topics in this all-encompassing interview, including his October 15 showdown versus Robert Helenius on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. You don't want to miss what the Bronze Bomber has to say!

Also, hosts Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal preview the weekend's action as former world champions collide when Omar Figueroa Jr. faces Sergey Lipinets Saturday night on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Plus, the "Top Five Heavyweight Fights of the 21st Century" in this week's Toe to Toe segment and more!

For a closer look at Deontay Wilder, check out his fighter page. 

The PBC Podcast is a weekly boxing show featuring timely analysis and interviews with the sport’s biggest figures. The show is published every Wednesday on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spreaker and other outlets. Alternatively, listeners can find The PBC Podcast on the PBC website at www.premierboxingchampions.com/podcast.

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Figueroa is winning battles outside the ring and hopes to do so inside it when he faces fellow former champ Sergey Lipinets in a WBC 140-pound title eliminator Saturday night on SHOWTIME.

It has been said the most complex computer is the human brain. And that must be true, if the total of all the components in the three pounds or so of soft fat floating inside the skull in a sea of cerebrospinal fluid are added up. A weekly lottery ticket purchaser could score the big jackpot in numerous consecutive weeks at lower odds than even the most accomplished probers of the human brain could in attempting to accurately describe all the intricacies of thought processes involving approximately 86 billion neurons woven together by an estimated 100 trillion connections, or synapses.

Even so renowned an expert as Christof Koch, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and President of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, admits to the semi-futility of answering every question that might arise from the study of brains in life forms vastly less intricate than those of human beings. “We don’t even understand the brain of a worm,” Dr. Koch offered in a moment of candor.

But mankind nonetheless presses on in its never-ending quest for knowledge, which brings more than a few seekers of truth to the curious and compelling case of former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa Jr., whose brain has been a veritable petri dish of case studies since he was a teenager. 

At various times, the 32-year-old Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs), who takes Sergey Lipinets (16-2-1, 12 KOs), a late replacement for former four-division world champ Adrien “The Problem” Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) Saturday night in the 12-round, WBC Super Lightweight Title Eliminator live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, has been diagnosed with all manner of jumbled neurons and synapses. 

An opponent in the other corner intent on knocking him out is hardly the most pressing concern for Figueroa, who for years has had to fight his way back in an ongoing battle with ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), Bipolar disorder, clinical depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and a form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) known as “complex PTSD.” He also has had to deal with a series of injuries, most notably to the primary instruments of his trade, his hands.

“Injuries have hindered my career, too,” said Figueroa, whose last victory, a 10-round unanimous decision over John Molina Jr., was on February 16, 2019. “I’ve broken my hands several times each. You can’t do anything without your hands in boxing.”

Nor, it would seem, can you approximate the best version of yourself in the ring if your mind is not in near-perfect harmony with your body, which it was not for Figueroa in his most recent bout, a sixth-round stoppage loss to Abel Ramos on May 1, 2021. That defeat resulted in Figueroa receiving an urgent message from his mind that the physical and psychological sides of himself needed to resolve any and all conflicts, or else his career as a past world titlist with a vision of becoming one again would end sooner than he or his supporters would prefer.

“I don’t know,” Figueroa said of his surprisingly less-than-stellar performance against Ramos. “I wish I knew what the heck happened in that fight. My legs just weren’t there. That’s the most frustrating thing that can happen because we went through a whole camp and whenever I’m in camp I’m 100% and I dedicate myself.

I’m appreciative of and grateful for the opportunity that I have to do this (boxing) again. Former World Champion - Omar Figueroa Jr.

“I did everything I had to do to be perfect for that fight. In the first round I knew I hurt him and I know I could have finished him, but when I tried to put in that little extra effort to finish him, my legs just weren’t there. I don’t know what happened to my body at that point, but that’s also what started me on this introspective journey. I started looking into mental health and I realized how important that was.”

The inspiration – well, one of them, at least – for Figueroa to identify some of the inner torments within himself and to restrain them as best he could was pixieish gymnast Simone Biles, whom everyone expected to shine as brightly at the 2021 Beijing Olympics, as she had at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. But Biles withdrew from several events, citing mental fatigue and her desire to find the sort of peace that she had not felt for some time.

“The fact that she pulled out of (a portion of) the Olympics lit a fire under my ass and it got me thinking that she had to do that when she was one of the focal points of her sport, to take care of herself, got me to thinking, `What am I doing with myself?  To myself? What aren’t I paying attention to my brain, which is the most vital part of me that I have? I knew I had to look inward.’”

The pre-therapy side of himself, Figueroa said, “was fueled by hatred and anger … all the negative stuff. I’m appreciative of and grateful for the opportunity that I have to do this (boxing) again. I know now that it was never me against the world. It was me against me.”

Can the less-stressed, more-in-control  Figueroa prove as successful, and perhaps more so in a strictly boxing sense, than his previous incarnation as a raging storm making frequent landfalls inside the ropes? He believes it is possible, but one thing he has learned about himself is that it is imprudent to issue guarantees that only can be verified, or not, on fight night.

“The therapy and counseling has allowed me to open up and be human,” the Texas-born Figueroa said of his reconfigured priorities that can and should also prove useful to him as a fighter. “I didn’t feel human before. I went through so much growing up, especially in the Mexican culture as a man with all the machismo.

“We all deal with these sort of things to one degree or another, but me maybe more so because of the position that I’m in, as a known boxer and all that. Knowing that I could use the platform that I’m on to help people like me have the courage to face what I did … Look, I can be open about it now and shine some light in other people’s lives if they’re going through a dark place.”

Mental health – for everyone, not just boxers or athletes – has become an increasingly major concern. That Broner, who has his own history of sometimes inexplicable behavior, cites that factor as the reason for his withdrawal only serves to identify the “dark place” Figueroa has been striving to escape for a large segment of his life.

If Figueroa truly has found a way to stop fighting himself, adjusting to a new opponent, the 33-year-old Lipinets, should be a relative snap.  

For a closer look at Omar Figueroa Jr, check out his fighter page.

Bombzquad is Back! Deontay Wilder Speaks

THU, JAN 01, 1970

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Two undefeated fighters from the Dominican Republic could make Saturday the greatest boxing night their country has ever seen as both vie for world titles in a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME.

This Saturday August 20th, former champions Omar Figueroa Jr. and Sergey Lipinets collide in a WBC Super Lightweight title eliminator at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

The intriguing crossroads bout headlines a Premier Boxing Champions event on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) which features a pair of title matches that could make for a historic night for a country that has quietly become a boxing hotbed. 

Only a few years ago, boxing insiders thought of the Dominican Republic as a place with fighters who looked good while losing. Numerous prospects padded their records against Dominican boxers who sported more losses than wins. The fighters were capable but, because they lacked world class facilities, did not harbor any world champion aspirations. Instead, they picked up paychecks and experience. Dominican trainers learned on the job too and the lessons learned were passed on to the next generation. 

Two of those fighters are fighting for a title Saturday night. If both win, it would be the greatest night of boxing the Dominican Republic has ever seen, according to both. 

Alberto Puello (20-0, 10 KOs) of San Juan de la Maguana and Batyr Akhmedov (9-1, 8 KOs) square off for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship. In the other match, Hector Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) also from San Juan de la Maguana, challenges WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs.)  

Puello and Garcia share the same sentiment: They both hope their fights opens more doors for boxers from the Dominican Republic and that the sport in the country receives more attention and support—something that was lacking in the country’s past. 

The first Dominican boxer to crack the world rankings was Carlos Perez in the 1940s. Perez was a hard-hitting lefty with a penchant for street-fighting. The 5-foot-7 middleweight likely would be a welterweight with today’s improved training techniques. Because of a lack of facilities at home, Perez’s biggest wins were in Cuba. A career of fighting on the road and sleeping in unfamiliar beds came to an end one night in 1960 at a small diner in the Dominican Republic, when an ongoing street beef ended with him stabbed multiple times and slumped over an unfinished plate of bifstek encebollado.

Carlos Teofilo Cruz was the country’s first champion and his title winning performance in 1968 remains the highlight of Dominican boxing. Unfortunately, not that many people witnessed it. Held at a baseball stadium in the nation’s capital, Cruz dropped and then walked down defending champion Carlos Ortiz. The crowd, described as enthusiastic, was much smaller than the promoter had hoped for. Political correspondent, Tomas Montas, wrote that, because of the hostile political environment that remained for years following the assassination of Rafael Trujillo, “people were afraid to leave their homes.” 

After losing his title because of a cut, Cruz died tragically in a plane crash. He remains the only former champion to have beaten Carlos Ortiz who is not in the Hall of Fame. 

There is a lot of talent in the Dominican Republic Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender - Alberto Puello

Cruz, and all the other Dominican fighters who cracked the rankings, had to do what Carlos Perez did and fight on the road. Some relocated to Puerto Rico or New York. Lately, they have been able to develop world class skills while staying at home. 

San Juan de la Maguana is an agricultural city closer to Haiti than to Santo Domingo. Known for its delicious fruits and snow-colored churches, most of the youth aspire to be baseball players. When he was young, Puello’s father looked to enroll him in one of the baseball leagues. 

“I told him,” Puello said, “the league was too expensive. Why pay to play ball when I can box for free and potentially make money from it?” he asked his father. 

Puello soon found himself in Marino Minaya’s gym alongside Hector Garcia. 

“He was about 12, and I was 14,” Garcia recalled. Sixteen years later, the two are on the verge of making history for their country. 

“About a year ago the thought that we may do something special began crossing my mind,” said Garcia. If victorious, it would mark the first time the country saw two of their own win titles on the same day. 

“There is a lot of talent in the Dominican Republic,” adds Puello. “All we need is a chance and hopefully our fights (his and Garcia’s) on the 20th brings much needed attention and support for the younger fighters on the way up.”  

Some have already noticed. In a recent interview on the YouTube channel of Broadway Joel, Garcia said that companies such as Premier Boxing Champions deserve credit for their recent support. “Al Haymon, you have to give him credit. He’s the one who knows about this business. Luis DeCubas too and Bob Santos. They’re the ones who have been supporting us recently, which is what Dominicans really needed to push forward.” 

In addition to Garcia and Puello, the top-ten slots are increasingly being occupied by Dominican boxers. At middleweight, Carlos Adames is ranked number four by the independent Transnational Boxing Rankings Organization and sixth by the WBA. Stylish lightweight and Muhammad Ali look-a-like, Michel Rivera, known as the La Zarza Ali, is ranked third by the WBA. Knockout artist Elvis Rodriguez is only a fight or two away from joining them amongst the best in the world. 

These fighters are on the cusp of a title shot and if they and Garcia and Puello, are victorious, the Dominican Republic may surpass Mexico as the Latin American country producing the most champions. 

Both Garcia and Puello want to win for their country as much as for themselves. If they, and the others, continue winning, the Dominican Republic might be known as much for their world class boxing talent as they are for their baseball players. Perhaps more youngsters will choose the path that Puello did and turn to boxing rather than baseball. And maybe more fathers will be like Puello’s father. 

What does he say now about your choice to box, I asked. 

“He doesn’t even talk about baseball anymore,” Puello replied. 

For a closer look at the entire Figueroa vs Lipinets card, check out our fight night page.

See More: Sat, Oct 15, 2022

Plant vs Dirrell

SAT, OCT 15, 2022 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Caleb Plant photo
Anthony Dirrell photo

Former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant faces two-time WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell in a highly anticipated 12-round bout between 168-pound rivals.

    • Record
    • Caleb Plant 21-1-0
    • Anthony Dirrell 34-2-2
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Caleb Plant 12 (54.55%)
    • Anthony Dirrell 25 (65.79%)
    • Weight
    • Caleb Plant 168 lbs (76.36 kg)
    • Anthony Dirrell 168 lbs (76.36 kg)
    • Height
    • Caleb Plant 6'1" (1.85 m)
    • Anthony Dirrell 6'2" (1.88 m)
    • Reach
    • Caleb Plant 74" (188 cm)
    • Anthony Dirrell 74½" (189 cm)
    • Stance
    • Caleb Plant Orthodox
    • Anthony Dirrell Orthodox
    • Age
    • Caleb Plant 30
    • Anthony Dirrell 37

Watch the Fight


Sat, Oct 15, 2022



Sat, Oct 15, 2022


See More: Sat, Oct 15, 2022

Wilder vs Helenius

SAT, OCT 15, 2022 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Deontay Wilder photo
Robert Helenius photo

Former WBC heavyweight world champion and boxing superstar Deontay "The Bronze Bomber'' Wilder makes his long-awaited return to the ring to battle top-rated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius in an explosive 12-round battle between ferocious punchers in the main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View.

    • Record
    • Deontay Wilder 42-2-1
    • Robert Helenius 31-3-0
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Deontay Wilder 41 (91.11%)
    • Robert Helenius 20 (58.82%)
    • Weight
    • Deontay Wilder 226 lbs (102.73 kg)
    • Robert Helenius 243 lbs (110.45 kg)
    • Height
    • Deontay Wilder 6'7" (2.01 m)
    • Robert Helenius 6'" (2 m)
    • Reach
    • Deontay Wilder 83" (211 cm)
    • Robert Helenius 79" (201 cm)
    • Stance
    • Deontay Wilder Orthodox
    • Robert Helenius Orthodox
    • Age
    • Deontay Wilder 36
    • Robert Helenius 38

Watch the Fight


Sat, Oct 15, 2022



Sat, Oct 15, 2022


TOMORROW: Figueroa vs Lipinets

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Some of the finest moments in the career of the four-division champ ahead of his showdown against Omar Figueroa Saturday night on SHOWTIME.

Adrien “The Problem” Broner possesses a resume full of accomplishments. Broner won his first world title when he was 23 years old, and by 26 had joined an elite group of fighters who had won world titles in four weight classes. Now 33, Broner remains one of boxing’s biggest personalities.

After campaigning at 147 the past five years, the Cincinnati native will return to the super lightweight division to face world champion Omar Figueroa Jr. on Saturday, August 20, in a headlining event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, FL on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). It is “work or die” season for Broner as he looks to re-establish himself in the 140-pound division.

“I’m going in there to try to stop Figueroa,” Broner said. “I’m going to take the fight to him and go ahead and get him out of there. What I expect from him is the same gruesome Figueroa that we always see. He’ll try to make it a rough fight. Every fighter is different, but I don’t think he’ll be hard to hit. I know I can be a champion again, and I know I’m going to be a champion again.”

As Broner prepares for his highly anticipated return, here is a look back at his five memorable moments.


Date: February 18, 2017

Location: Cintas Center, Cincinnati

At stake: No title

Records at the time: Broner 32-2 (24 KOs), Granados 18-4-2 (11 KOs), 

Result: Broner SD (96-94, 93-97, 97-93)

Significance: Broner knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park fighting in his hometown against his friend and former sparring partner Granados, but was ready for it. Granados pressured Broner throwing punches in bunches while Broner responded with brilliant counterpunches in the form of uppercuts and hooks. The fight featured many good exchanges and was a Fight of the Year candidate. Broner’s power eventually wore Granados down. More shots were exchanged in the tenth round, but it was a thunderous left hook from Broner that rocked Granados and solidified the split decision victory for “The Problem.”

4 Ashley Theophane

Date: April 1, 2016

Location: DC Armory, Washington 

At stake: Vacant WBA Super Lightweight Title

Records at the time: Broner 31-2 (23 KOs), Theophane 39-6-1 (11 KOs)

Result: Broner TKO 9 (1:10)

Significance: Prior to the fight, Broner was stripped off his WBA Super Lightweight Title for not making weight. Yet he fought like a champion on this night, displaying his skills by battering Theophane with a versatile attack. In round three Theophane was hurt and cornered by a right hand followed by a left hook. The tough Theophane was game and Broner unphased, dismantling him with speed and power. In the ninth, Broner unleashed a volley of blows, starting with an uppercut and ending with a cross that sent Theophane swerving around the ring. Referee Luis Pabon stopped the assault.

3 Khabib Allakhverdiev

Date: October 3, 2015

Location: U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati

At stake: Vacant WBA Super Lightweight Title

Records at the time: Broner 30-2 (22 KOs), Allakhverdiev 19-1 (9 KOs)

Result: Broner TKO 12 (2:23)

Significance: There was plenty of two-way action early on as Allakhverdiev gave as good as he got. Broner’s punches carried more pop. By the sixth, Allakhverdiev’s face and ribs were marked up from a steady diet of rights and lefts. Allakhverdiev was overwhelmed by Broner’s skills and threw less in the late rounds to avoid punishing counters. In the twelfth, Broner stunned Allakhverdiev with a straight jab, followed by a left hook, and a right uppercut-left hook combination, causing referee Harvey Dock to rescue Allakhverdiev at last.


Date: February 16, 2013


Location: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City

At stake: Broner’s WBC Lightweight Title 

Records at the time: Broner 25-0 (21 KOs), Rees 37-1-1 (19 KOs)

Result: Broner TKO 5 (2:59)

Significance: Rees handled his business from the opening bell, fearlessly firing away. But in the third, Rees realized that the problem was “The Problem.” Broner uncorked a sneaky right uppercut flooring Rees for the second time in his career. When Rees arose, Broner was in attack mode, pounding away in search of the finish. In the fifth, Broner was in command, landing a digging left hook to Rees’ liver. Rees dropped to a knee, though clearly in pain, he made it back to his feet only to eat more of Broner’s combinations. Referee Earl Brown halted the fight.


Date: November 17, 2012

Location: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City

At stake: DeMarco’s WBC Lightweight Title

Records at the time: Broner 24-0 (20 KOs), DeMarco 28-2-1 (21 KOs)

Result: Broner TKO 8 (1:49)

Significance: This was Broner’s scariest performance. Both fighters were cautious early. In the third round, DeMarco applied pressure using an attack focused on the body. In the fourth, the combatants stood toe-to-toe in the center of the ring, but it was Broner who dominated with quick combinations including a right uppercut that popped DeMarco’s head up. Broner’s shoulder roll defense frustrated an impatient DeMarco. He was still coming forward, but now being countered by head and body shots that left DeMarco’s face a swollen mess. By the eighth, DeMarco was a depleted force. Broner finished him off with a winging left uppercut that sent DeMarco to the canvas for the first time in his pro career. DeMarco’s corner stopped the fight immediately.

For a closer look at Adrien Broner, check out his fighter page.


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