Broner blows out Rodriguez to win WBO 130lb title

In a night filled with devastating knockouts, none was no more valuable than Adrien Broner’s as he won his first world title, the WBO junior lightweight championship, Saturday night at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH. Broner, who is now 20-0 with 18 KOs, drove WBO # 6 Martin Rodriguez (34-3-1, 18 KOs) between the ropes with a crushing left hook, with referee Frank Garza reaching the count of ten at 1:47 in the third round.

Broner maintained his composure throughout the contest against the constant pressure from Rodriguez. “The guy came out there fighting and I want to thank Martin for coming here tonight. I am going to keep going forward on those things that need work.”

The new champion spent the early moments of the bout trying to figure out the swarming Rodriguez, staying at a safe distance, while establishing his jab. Broner unloaded the quick 1-2 on a couple of occasions in the first round, but the pressure from his opponent kept him on the retreat, while rolling his left shoulder to defend against the wild, looping overhand right hands coming his way. The second round had Rodriguez continuing to force the action as he pressed Broner against the ropes, again trying to land one big right hand shot. It was in between those bursts though, that Broner showed a composure that was far more mature than the 22 year old champ’s age, now the second youngest in boxing. Broner effectively used the shoulder roll and a parrying left hand to keep a majority of the wild shots from causing him harm.

Broner attempted the right uppercut on many occasions during the contest and it was in the third that the high risk power shot began to find a home on Rodriguez’ chin. When asked by Fightnews if that was something he worked on in training camp or something that he saw as the bout started, Broner answered, “I don’t watch any tape on fighters I am facing. I see what is in front of me in the ring on fight night and then adjust my game plan from there.”

Rodriguez continued the constant pressure to start the third, but as the round progressed, the counter-shots that Broner was firing in return were landing more frequently. About midway through the round, Rodriguez bull-rushed Broner into a corner, throwing both hands with abandon. Broner calmly leaned against the turnbuckles, dodging some of the punches and deflecting others. Sometime during this flurry, Broner landed a punch that bloodied the Argentinian fighter’s nose and he backed away, breathing heavily from his mouth. The champion quickly turned the tables and forced his opponent into a corner, picking his shots carefully. An opportunity flashed before him and Broner landed a lightning-quick left hook. Rodriguez appeared to not see the punch coming and it caught him flush, dropping him between the third and fourth ropes, and he sat there in disbelief with referee Frank Garza counting over him. Garza reached ten and Broner first danced in celebration, then dropped to his knees as the enormity of the moment weighed upon him.