Love him or hate him, Adrien "The Problem" Broner (29-1) has become one of the most entertaining in-ring performers in boxing. On Saturday night, The Problem won an exciting unanimous decision over a game Emmanuel Taylor (18-3) in the former's hometown of Cincinnati.
In a fight that was compelling throughout, the final round was a classic display of action and pugilistic purpose. Broner scored a knockdown in the waning seconds to punctuate his performance.
Taylor brought the fight to Broner from the very beginning, but Broner was up to the challenge. The Problem landed a plethora of power shots, showed good resolve and resiliency and, perhaps most impressively, was all business in the ring.
He only danced once, and that came after the dramatic knockdown in the 12th round. If you've seen Broner fight, you know that's a scaled-back performance.
Here are the official judges' totals per ESPN Boxing's Twitter account.
In the early rounds, it appeared as though Taylor was trying to emulate the approach Marcos Rene Maidana used to defeat Broner. He put pressure on The Problem and landed some solid combinations.
Broner seemed resigned to lean against the ropes during a large portion of the first three rounds. When he did this, Taylor took advantage with his activity.
Near the end of the third round, Broner began to stand his ground a bit more in the middle of the ring. He threw and landed hard combinations to take control of the fight.
Broner's left hook to the body was especially effective at zapping some of the steam from Taylor.
The fighters both had their moments in the middle rounds. Whomever was the aggressor was getting the best of the exchanges, but neither man seemed to be severely hurting his opponent.
Around the eighth round, Taylor's pace looked to slow significantly. He wasn't as active with his feet or with his punches. Broner took advantage of Taylor's lull in activity by increasing his own punch output.
The Problem used a jab to set up short and quick combinations that helped him take a commanding lead on the scorecards.
Heading into the 12th round, Taylor knew he needed a knockout if he had any chance of winning. He wasted no time launching a vicious attack on Broner.
Taylor was landing well. He even appeared to sting Broner with a few hard right hands. Broner showed a good chin and a warrior's attitude to not only take the punches but fire back with his own bit of aggression.
With less than 20 seconds left in the fight, Broner threw a combination that culminated in a sweeping left uppercut that sent Taylor to the mat.
He got up, but the shot was clearly enough to win Broner the round and to eliminate any question as to who was the better man. When the bout was over, Broner had earned some respect from his peers and others.
During the post-fight interview, Broner was subdued by his standards, but he was direct when he called out the man he wanted to face next.
Lucas Matthysse had just defeated Roberto Ortiz in the co-featured fight on the card. In what seemed like an improper stoppage, Ortiz was counted out after Matthysse landed a hard left hook to the liver.
Ortiz appeared to rise to his feet at the count of nine, but referee Danny Esteves waved the fight off.
A rematch between Matthysse and Ortiz seems unlikely, so there's definitely a chance that Broner could get his man.
Taylor looked good in defeat. Most didn't give him a chance in this fight, but he was able to make it interesting. He could be an interesting opponent for some of the other big names in the 140-pound weight division.
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