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Adrien Broner vs. Emmanuel Taylor: Preview and Prediction for Welterweight Bout

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2014

Adrien Broner vs. Emmanuel Taylor: Preview and Prediction for Welterweight Bout

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    Adrien “The Problem” Broner will fight at home for the first time in over two years on Saturday night, facing Emmanuel Taylor in junior welterweight action at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.

    Broner is a former three-division world champion, but he’s been on the road to redemption since suffering the first defeat of his career at the hands of Marcos Maidana last December. He moved down to 140 pounds for his in-ring return, taking a wide decision over Carlos Molina on The Moment: Mayweather vs. Maidana undercard in May.

    Taylor has a huge opportunity on a big stage to make a name for himself. The 23-year-old Maryland native earned this spot by outpointing Karim Mayfield in July, and his quick hands and boxing ability make him a live underdog.

    Will Broner have a successful homecoming? Or will Taylor add to his woes?

    Read on for your complete preview and prediction for Broner vs. Taylor!

Tale of the Tape

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    All stats and information per BoxRec.com.

     Adrien BronerEmmanuel Taylor
    Record28-1, 22 KO18-2, 12 KO
    Age2523
    Height5'6.5"5'7.5"
    Weight140 (last fight)141.5 (last fight)
    Reach69.5"65"
    StanceOrthodoxOrthodox
    HometownCincinnati, OhioEdgewood Arsenal, Maryland
    Rounds13293
    Last FightUD 10 Carlos Molina (5/3/14)UD 10 Karim Mayfield (7/18/14)

Main Storylines

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    Broner captured three world titles in as many weight divisions before he even reached his 25th birthday, and that led many to speculate about his ability to be the guy who follows in Floyd Mayweather’s footsteps.

    All that talk, which was wildly unfair from the get-go, came crashing down on Broner last December, when he was truck-sticked by Maidana. He did himself no favors with his antics before, during and after the fight and hasn’t built up the good will with the boxing public to emerge from that type of defeat unscathed.

    An easy but uninspired victory over Molina didn’t do much to repair the damage wrought, but Broner and his team are hoping that this homecoming will help cure some of his ills.

    Taylor earned a shot at Broner by taking down a once-promising fighter in Mayfield. He’s still pretty young himself, and a win here would be the type of moment that could launch his career.

    He’s faced a couple of good opponents recently, beating Victor Manuel Cayo and Mayfield while losing to Chris Algieri, but this is a step into deeper waters. For all the criticism he’s faced, Broner is a three-division champion, and that counts for something.

    Taylor is going to need to deal with a hostile crowd and a fighter looking to make a statement if he’s going to pull off an upset.

Strengths

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    Broner hasn’t endeared himself to many in the boxing community, but the kid does have a good deal of talent. It’s just a matter of putting it together in the right order and without distractions, both external and internal.

    The physical tools are present, and when he’s totally focused and committed, he’s a lot to handle.

    Broner has dazzling hand speed, and he’s a great athlete. He has the ability to be relentless on the attack, using superfast combinations to overwhelm his foe. In the lower weight divisions, his punching power was of the decisive variety, but he has yet to show that it can translate to facing bigger men.

    Taylor is a solid professional boxer who has grown up quite a bit in a short period of time.

    Like Broner, he has quick hands and is an underrated defensive fighter. He’s picked up some valuable experience in his most recent fights, taking down a pair of fringe contenders and losing to the man who gets the next crack at Manny Pacquiao.

    Taylor might be best suited for the second tier of the 140-pound division, but his speed and counterpunching could present stylistic challenges for many opponents.

Weaknesses

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    Broner packed some serious firepower at 130 and 135 pounds, but he definitely didn’t have the same snap on his shots at welterweight. Moving down to 140 pounds, The Problem peppered the light-hitting Molina for most of their 10-round fight, but he didn’t seem to have him in any serious trouble.

    He’s also prone to issues with his activity rate. It’s not uncommon to see Broner take minutes or even rounds off, allowing his foe to outwork him, even if none of the punches cause significant damage.

    Broner is supremely confident in his abilities, and this borders on overconfidence at times. He struggles with adapting under fire in the ring, and the absence of a Plan B, among other things, proved his undoing against Maidana.

    Taylor is a solid fighter, but he seems more likely to find himself on the fringe-contender line as his career further develops. He possesses a good but not great skill set, and while growing, his experience level probably doesn’t prepare him for this type of challenge.

    Against Algieri, Taylor showed that he can struggle against quick boxers who can get their punches off before he can. Unless we’re drastically overestimating him, Broner definitely has fast hands, likely faster than Taylor's, and this presents an issue.

    Taylor has decent pop on his punches, but if Broner could—mostly—stand up to Maidana's onslaught, his power shouldn’t be much of a factor.

Adrien Broner Will Win If...

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    If Broner is totally committed and focused on this fight, which he seems to be, then he should win without a huge amount of difficulty.

    Taylor, no disrespect intended, is not a top-tier fighter at 140 pounds, and he’s been brought in here to provide something less than a mortal challenge on Broner’s road back—he hopes—to a world championship.

    Broner needs to fight the way he knows how, using his quick hands to unleash fast combinations that discourage Taylor early in the fight. He should provide no quarter, not allowing his foe to outwork him or settle into a rhythm and steal rounds.

    Most important to that plan is getting his punches off first.

    By the middle of the fight, with Taylor reluctant to come forward due to Broner’s power and speed, The Problem should zero in his attack and make a statement by getting Taylor out of there.

    Some urgency in his game combined with his speed and power advantages should be all it takes on this night.

    As long as he remains disciplined and doesn’t beat himself.

Emmanuel Taylor Will Win If...

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    Taylor is a clear underdog in his fight, and he absolutely must get his shots off first if he hopes to secure an upset in Broner’s hometown.

    The primary problem that he faces, aside from the locale, is that all of the things he does well, Broner seems to do better.

    Taylor is quick; Broner is quicker.

    Taylor is solid defensively; Broner is better defensively.

    So he’s going to need to compensate for those shortfalls in other ways.

    Taylor needs to exploit Broner’s willingness to languish in fights. He needs to fight him, not give him respect and make sure that his punches are the ones reaching the target first.

    He needs to outwork his opponent, steal rounds and make sure it’s clear in the eyes of the judges that he’s the one making the fight.

And the Winner Will Be...

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Broner is the favorite for a reason, and Taylor was chosen for a reason.

    This is managed-risk type of fight, and Broner isn’t going to lose this one in his hometown.

    The Problem is the bigger puncher, the quicker fighter and the more complete competitor in terms of overall skill set. He’s had problems putting that all together in the past, yes, but he should well understand that the time for a hiccup isn’t now.

    People are looking for reasons to jump off his bandwagon, and a loss, or another less-than-impressive performance here, would give them all the push they need.

    Broner will make something of a statement, jumping on Taylor early, using his speed and power to set the tone and stopping him in the middle rounds.

    This isn’t the moment-of-truth fight that some are making it out to be—Taylor is not on the level of a Maidana or other opponent that Broner needs to beat to show he’s top flight—but it’s a step on that path.

    Prediction: Broner TKO in Round 7 over Taylor

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