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Broner set for 1st defense of welterweight title

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Posted: Dec 13, 2013 2:03 AM

Updated: Dec 13, 2013 2:04 AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Adrien Broner has been eating lots of ice cream, admiring himself on television and spending some quality time with friends and family.

Oh, and he's been preparing for the first defense of his WBA welterweight championship.

Broner faces former WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Maidana on Saturday at the Alamodome, headlining a nine-bout card that will air internationally on Showtime.

If it seems like Broner is treating Maidana like an afterthought, he is at least publicly.

"I'm undefeated, 27-0, 22 knockouts, three-time world champion in three different weight classes; I did that at 23," Broner said. "At 24, I will be a four-time world champion in four different weight classes. We've just got to get this stepping stone out of the way."

Broner is rated as the sixth best pound-for-pound fighter by Ring magazine. His speed, power, counter-punching and flamboyancy have drawn comparisons to his mentor, Floyd "Money" Mayweather, and led to a meteoric rise after only five years as a pro.

According to Broner, Maidana has as much chance of beating him in the 12-round bout as he does of getting the last word in.

"I really ain't got too much to say about my opponent," Broner said. "We're here to talk about Adrien Broner."

The dismissal is fine with Maidana, who held his right hand like a cocked gun that he pointed at Broner's head during the final press conference Thursday.

"Everyone knows that Broner has a big mouth," Maidana said earlier in training camp. "But that doesn't bother me, because his mouth can't fight for him. Whether he has the guts to stand in front of me or if he runs, I'll definitely go for the KO and either way, I'm leaving the ring with the belt."

While Broner said he has eaten more ice cream preparing for this fight than in any training camp, he did let his guard down away from the glut of television cameras he revels in.

"I'm not going to lie, this is the biggest fight of my career," he said. "(Maidana's) going to try to come fight me; he's going to try to break my neck, so I'm ready, man, I'm focused."

The Cincinnati native is realistic because he knows every fighter has a "puncher's chance," and the aggressive Maidana is definitely a puncher.

After losing two of four matches, the 30-year-old Argentine has won his last three bouts by KO or TKO to earn this title match.

In his previous bout, Maidana landed 56 percent of his power punches in beating Josesito Lopez via a sixth-round TKO on June 8. After sending Lopez to the canvas with an overhand right, he followed with a crushing right uppercut that forced a stoppage.

"I don't really think that Broner has fought a puncher like Maidana yet," WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman said. "This might be the best punch that he's come up against."

At 5-foot-9, Maidana has a two-inch height advantage over Broner, but only a one-inch advantage in reach. There is no question which fighter is quicker, however.

Maidana will try to cut off the ring to bottle the mercurial Broner.

"Yes, that's what we've been trying to do in the gym," Maidana said. "And, protecting myself from his punches."

An active fighter, Maidana plans on keeping constant pressure on Broner. That aggressiveness could help him win the world title, but it could also lead to his downfall against Broner's relentless counter-punching.

"Maidana gets frustrated easily with slick fighters, people that are hard to hit," Thurman said. "I think Broner is a little hard to hit and he's exposed to the body. I think if Broner did his homework, he's going to drop down to the body early on and it might possibly make it an easy fight but I know Maidana is going to bring everything he has to make it the toughest fight of Adrien's career thus far."

And while Broner refused to reveal any strategy, he definitely has done his homework.

"I don't have to explain what's already understood," Broner said, "he makes a lot of mistakes."

If Broner wins, his next opponent could be Thurman, who is fighting on the "Danger Zone" undercard.

Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) defends his world title against Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs).

"I'm looking forward to challenging myself," Thurman said. "I'm looking forward to see, am I the best? I've been working so hard my whole life to be the best, to be one of the greatest, to make the history books.

"I remember when I was 11 years old and for Christmas I got this boxing book and it had all the great fighters in it and I remember flipping through those pages and saying to myself, 'Man, wouldn't it be something if your name was in a book like this one day?' And that's what I'm working for."

Also on the undercard, Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) defends his WBC Super Bantamweight championship against Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs) and Beibut Shum (13-1, 8 KOs) defends his WBA Super Light Heavyweight title against Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KOs).

Topics: BOX-Broner-Maidana

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