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Counter Punch

Broner Beats Rees With 5th-Round TKO

With his victory over Gavin Rees, Adrien Broner improved his career record to 26-0. (Tim Larsen/AP) With his victory over Gavin Rees, Adrien Broner improved his career record to 26-0. (Tim Larsen/AP)

ATLANTIC CITY -- Three thoughts from Adrien Broner’s fifth round technical knockout of Gavin Rees...

This was predictable You can't blame Broner for the matchmaking. He wanted to fight Ricky Burns before Burns priced himself out of the fight, and he is in a 135-pound division without many notable challengers. Rees was a former 140-pound champion but he was in way too deep with Broner, whose speed and power were considerably better than Rees's. Rees had some nice moments in the early rounds, peppering Broner with shots to the head and body. But when Broner turned it on, Rees had no shot. He went down on a savage uppercut in the fourth round and was flattened again in the fifth before cornerman Gary Lockett threw in the towel. "He hits incredibly hard for a lightweight," Rees said. "I knew he was going to be powerful, but his power really stunned me. He's not a superstar in the making, he's already there. No one has ever treated me like that in boxing. He is going to go a very long way.

Lot of Floyd Mayweather in Broner From the blinding hand speed to the shoulder roll defense to the in-ring swagger, Broner is, in many ways, a young Mayweather, one with even more power. But there is one big difference: At 23, Mayweather was unhittable; Broner takes a lot of shots. Part of it is because Broner is more offensive minded than Mayweather, but that attitude leaves him open for big shots. Broner has as much pure talent as anyone in boxing, but his willingness to take shots could make him vulnerable to bigger punchers.

It's Burns, or move up There is only one legitimate fight for Broner in the 135-pound division, and it's Burns, who will try to unify the lightweight titles when he takes on Miguel Vazquez on March 16th. Burns doesn't have great power, but he is tall (5-foot-10) and skilled and should give Broner a decent fight. If a Burns fight can't be made, Broner should move up to 140-pounds, arguably the deepest division in boxing. Broner is on the cusp of stardom; a couple of years fighting some of the top junior welterweights could make him one.
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