Marcos Maidana stuns Adrien Broner for welterweight belt

Marcos Maidana had a resounding answer to “The Problem” on Saturday night.

The Argentine slugger came out swinging from the opening bell, knocked Adrien “The Problem” Broner down twice and stunned the boxing world by handing Broner his first career loss. Maidana won a unanimous decision to take Broner’s WBA welterweight title before a raucous crowd of 11,312 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) was put on the defensive by Maidana from the start of the Showtime-televised bout. He was hurt badly in the second round and went down after a staggering left hand from Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), nicknamed “El Chino.” Broner barely survived the round. It was the first time in his career that the 24-year-old from Cincinnati had been down. It wouldn’t be the last.

Broner, a three-division champion who was defending his welterweight belt for the first time, went down again in the eighth off another crushing left hand by Maidana, who then inexplicably head-butted Broner intentionally and had a point taken away by referee Laurence Cole. Broner acted like he was badly hurt, flopping onto the canvas. Cole wasn’t buying it, however, and brought the fighters back together after a few minutes.

Maidana has punched himself out in the later rounds in some of his previous fights. But this time he never seemed to tire and kept up the punishment, throwing combinations, hard jabs and powerful body shots throughout the fight. He threw nearly a thousand punches overall (964 to be exact) and landed 231 power shots to 122 for Broner.

Judge Stanley Christodoulou scored it 115-110, Levi Martinez had it 116-109 and Nelson Vazquez 117-109, all for Maidana. The crowd went wild when the scores were announced.

“The truth is, I’ve never fought anyone like (Broner), and it was a great fight,” said Maidana, 30, wearing a crown on his head and holding his new title belt. This was the second weight class in which Maidana has held a title. He was a junior welterweight (140 pounds) titlist as well.

“The plan was to fight any way I could do it, and I won because of that,” Maidana said.

Maidana said he was hurt when Broner hit him after the bell rang ending the 11th round, but he came out in the 12th and kept slugging away to seal the victory.

The brash Broner, who called Maidana a “steppingstone” in his career coming into the fight, left the ring in a hurry without talking. Fans threw cups and bottles at the ex-champion as he was led back to the locker room, appearing woozy from the punishment that Maidana had dished out.

At the post-fight press conference, however, Broner said he was “OK. I’m still the three-time world champion in three different weight classes,” he said. “Tonight, Maidana was just the better man, but we fought a hell of a fight. I hope the fans got what they deserved. … I’m still going to live like we won the fight. I’m still going to party.”

Broner said he wants an immediate rematch.

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