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Broner vs Rees



Broner Continues to Shine!
A world title, an eliminator, a USBA contest & Olympians!

February 16, 2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Ringside Report: Kurt Wolfheimer
Photos: Ed Mulholland


Adrian "The Problem" Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) defended his WBC lightweight title by dropping Gavin Rees (37-2-1, 19 KOs) twice en-route to an impressive sixth round stoppage this Saturday at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

Broner, who has been projected by many ringside critics to be the next great Pound-for-Pound superstar ala Floyd Mayweather, easily battered Rees from round three. Broner sent Rees to the canvas twice in the fifth, finishing the show after the second knockdown with devastating six-punch combination that forced the corner of Rees to halt the action. The contest was stopped at the 2:59 mark.

In the co-feature, former "The Contender" series star Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika (30-6-2, 21 KOs) won a workmanlike but one sided twelve unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated and #1 contender Nikola Sjeckloca (25-1, 7 KOs) in a WBC super middleweight title eliminator bout. With the victory, Bika became the mandatory challenger for champion Andre Ward.

Along with the world title fight and the title eliminator, the card also featured a USBA title contest plus the showcasing of several Olympians and future prospects.


The fight appeared to be a huge mismatch on paper as Adrien "The Problem" Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) entered the ring as a 33-1 favorite against Gavin "The Rock" Rees (37-2-1, 19 KOs). Everyone from the fans to the critics expected Broner to have no problems with the former WBA junior welterweight and European lightweight title holder Rees.

The contest was a huge opportunity for the thirty-two year old Rees from Newport Wales who had travelled across the pond to fight the biggest fight of his career.

Rees proved in the first couple of rounds that the opportunity was taken seriously as he entered the ring ripped and ready to go.

Rees gave up several inches in height which can normally be a disadvantage for the smaller fighter, but he used that to his advantage in the early going as he slipped underneath Broner's dangerous hooks and worked his way inside. Rees buried his head on the chest of the champion and unloaded hard hooks to the hard body of Broner. Broner of Cincinnati, OH, was also in tip-top shape and took the punches in stride while covering to block any hooks up top. When Rees did uncork a shot that penetrated Broner's defense, the champ shook his head and said “No!” as he rolled with the punch.

Rees continued to work the body early in round two and to slip Broner's leads. Broner finally found his mark late in the round as he rolled his right hand as if he was going to throw a bolo punch but instead he landed a straight right on the chin of the Welshman. Broner immediately followed up with a lighting quick four-punch combination as the round came to an end.

The fight turned in the third round as Broner found the mark on his opponent by using his forearm to make space and drilling him with straight shots as the head of Rees became exposed. Rees wouldn't back down and continued to work the body. Late in the round Rees excited the crowd as he dropped his hands and asked Broner to come forward. Broner showed part of what makes him so special as he unloaded a lightning quick for punch combination up top and finished with a big shot that buckled Rees' knees as the round came to a close. It was the first time that Rees had been hurt in the bout and it showed as he gingerly walked back to the corner.

Broner continued to use the tricks of the trade as he put out his glove in front of the face of Rees blinding him so he could not see the heavy shots coming in. In the last minute of the round, Broner extended his forearm to force up the head of his opponent and then drilled his mark with a hard uppercut that dropped Rees on his back. Rees was hurt, but quickly cleared his head and was able to survive the round.

Broner had taken control of the ring and you could see Rees withering from the heavy combos that were raining down upon him. Rees tried to work the body, but he seemed to stop ducking and moving his head, which made him a stationary target for Broner’s heavy combinations. Broner sent him back to the canvas for the second time with a short uppercut under the chin. Rees rose to his feet without even getting the eight count. Broner jumped on him to finish the job with eight unanswered shots. Rees appeared ready to collapse again from the onslaught. His corner had seen enough and waived the white towel, stopping the fight at the 2:59 mark of the fifth round.

Broner vs Rees Photos

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Bika Wins Eliminator

In the co-feature, former "The Contender" series star Sakio Bika (31-5-2, 21 KOs) won a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision over formerly undefeated Nikola Sjekloca (25-1, 7 KOs) in a WBC junior middleweight title eliminator.

Sjekloca of Budva, Montenegro was the #1 WBC rated contender however largely unknown having fought most of his bouts in homeland. This was also his US debut. The #2 WBC contender Bika, who was born in Cameroon but had fought most of his fights in the U.S. and Australia, demonstrated from the opening bell that he had fought the better competition.

Right from the get go, Bika displayed that he was the superior fighter. In the opening minute, Bika landed the left hand up top, which quickly gained the attention of Sjekloca.

Each round seemed to be a microcosm of the next with Bika methodically out punching Sjekloca in workmanlike fashion. Sjekloca was tough and took the shots landed by Bika well, but couldn't match him punch for punch.

Sjekloca did land a few wide but dangerous overhand rights during the middle rounds but Bika was cautious and remained in control.

Bika backed up Sjekloca in round four with a wide right and then followed up with a right uppercut. Sjekloca covered, which allowed Bika to bang out another good four-punch combination.

Bika got caught with a few counter rights as he dove in during rounds five and six, but his punches were sharper. The combinations from Bika showed as the face Sjekloca began to puff up.

Bika controlled rounds six through ten, piling up the points with a steady mix of body work and hooks.

By round ten it was clear that Sjekloca would need a knockout to win. Sjekloca was able to a few good shots during the final three rounds but not enough for the victory.

Bika won by a wide margin with scores of 119-109, 118-112 and 120-108.

"I feel really good," said Bika afterwards. "I had a great game plan. I worked hard and pushed him but I give great applause to him. He was ready and came undefeated. This was a great opportunity for me. Now I want to fight all the great fighters like Lucian Bute, Andre Ward and any of them!"

Bika vs Sjekloca Photos

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Hopkins Whips Whitaker

Demetrius "The Gladiator" Hopkins (33-2-1, 13 KOs) captured the USBA junior middleweight title with a sixth round retirement of Charles Whitaker (39-14-2) in their scheduled twelve round contest.

Hopkins of Philadelphia, PA - who recently began training with Nazim Richardson - appears to be improving from fight to fight. Hopkins showed his enhanced skills early as he outworked Whitaker in opening rounds. Whitaker, from Miami, FL, tried to get off in the third and fourth rounds, but pinpoint jabs and combinations of Hopkins forced him to fight more defensively.

During the fifth round, Whitaker seemed befuddled by the hand speed and vast array of shots coming from Hopkins. In the closing moments of the fifth, Hopkins dropped Whitaker in the corner with an overhand right.

Hopkins was careful not to get caught with any big counters as he continued to break Whitaker down in the sixth. Hopkins trapped Whitaker in the corner during the final ten seconds of the round and dug in with a few deep body shots. Whitaker was able to escape from the corner to survive the round.

However in the corner between rounds Whitaker quit on the stool citing he was having trouble seeing out of his left eye.

"He was awkward, but I was steadily breaking him down," said Hopkins. "My game plan was to box and keep my hands up. We had been working on my overhand right all camp and it worked tonight."

Trainer Nazim Richardson also spoke afterward about the game plan and preparation. "At the top of camp I told Demetrius that we were not going to knock him out, but we were going to make him quit on the stool. I told him that if you apply the pressure and keep that jab working, he will quit. He is too old to take the pressure."

"We still have some work to do with Demetrius. Danny Davis and Sharif are doing a wonderful job with him and he is only getting better. This is just the start of big things to come for Demetrius," said Richardson.

Hopkins vs Whittaker Photos

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Cherry Bombs Escobedo

Junior lightweight fringe contender Edner "Cherry Bomb" Cherry (31-6-2, 17 KOs) of Miami, FL, continued his push for another world title shot with an impressive sixth round stoppage of two-time world title challenger Vincente Escobedo (26-6, 15 KOs) from Woodland, CA.

Cherry was dominant in the early going, winning the exchanges. Escobedo made the opening round close with a few wide rights late that found their mark.

Escobedo changed his tactics in the second round as he tried to press forward behind his jab but Cherry stopped him in his tracks and floored him with a left hand.

Escobedo tried to box in rounds three and four but Cherry would not let Escobedo back into the contest and countered everything he threw.

Escobedo tried to turn the tide in the fifth and came out banging a few clubbing shots. The punches seemed to anger Cherry as he dug in deep body shots. Cherry continued to find his shots from a distance. Cherry's exchanges were stronger and it showed as Escobedo began to tire.

Cherry again regained control in the sixth, dropping Escobedo with a left. Escobedo rose to his feet but Cherry continued to break him down. Moments later Cherry unleashed a barrage of punches which ended with a shot on the button that staggered Escobedo. Escobedo fell forward, landing hard on the canvas. The bout was immediately waived off just as the bell sounded to end the round, giving Cherry the TKO victory at 3:00 minutes of round six.

"It has been ten months since I was in the ring and I had to shake off some ring rust, but I will get better and better each time out," stated a satisfied Cherry. "Camp was great. I have been sparring with bigger and stronger fighters, so I knew he couldn't hurt me. Now I am going back to camp and will fight whoever my people will put in front of me!"

Cherry vs Escobedo Photos

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Warren Wallops Hernandez

Former three-time Olympian Raushee Warren raised his record to 3-0 with 1 knockout via a one-sided beatdown of winless Richard Hernandez (0-6) during a four round bantamweight contest.

Warren immediately took control in the opening seconds as he pushed Hernandez to the ropes and put together a tornado-like series of at least ten unanswered shots. Hernandez clinched and was somehow able to escape from the ropes but Warren, from Cincinnati, OH, kept backed up his opponent and hurt him again in the closing moments of first stanza.

The damage continued in the second round. Warren found his mark with a short left on the button that dropped Hernandez. Hernandez of Lockhart, TX, was game though and rose to his feet trying to fight back, but Warren wouldn't back down as he continued the attack. Moments later Warren landed a left on the chin and Hernandez fell in the corner. His team had seen enough and stepped up to the ring apron waiving the white towel. The time of the knockout was 2:04 of the second round.

Warren vs Hernandez Photos

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Easter Hits Early in AC

Highly touted former amateur lightweight Robert Easter Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) put on a solid performance in scoring a first round stoppage over Jose Valderrama (2-4, 3 KOs).

Easter Jr was in control right from the opening bell, snapping back the head of his opponent with sharp jabs. Valderrama tried to take the fight inside as the fighters began to trade hooks. Easter was faster and more damaging, which became apparent when they were separated and a huge cut over the left eye of Valderrama streamed blood down his face. Easter took advantage of the predicament as he steadily snapped jabs and short combinations to the head of his opponent. When the bell sounded to end the round, the ringside physician stepped in to examine Valderrama. The bout was stopped at the advice of the doctor and the cut was ruled to be caused by a punch, thus giving Easter a first round TKO victory.

Easter Jr. vs Valderrama Photos

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Herring Pummels Lopez

In the opening bout, US Olympian Jamel Herring (2-0, 1 KO) scored an impressive third round stoppage of Carlos Lopez (4-3) during a four round welterweight encounter.

Herring took control of the action in the third round stunning Lopez with a straight left. Herring followed thru with pushing Lopez to the ropes and battered him with a five-punch combination. Lopez spit out his mouthpiece, which gave him a moment's respite, but it would not help as Herring continued the onslaught with combination after combination until the bell sounded to end the round. Lopez looked like a beaten fighter as he approached his corner. The bout was waived off at the advice of the ringside physician and Herring was awarded the TKO victory.

Herring vs Lopez Photos

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