Future bright, yet uncertain for new lightweight champion Adrien Broner

Adrien Broner, left, punches Antonio DeMarco during Saturday night’s fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Broner won with a TKO in the eighth round.

ATLANTIC CITY - Evidence of Adrien Broner's terrific performance Saturday night was displayed on Antonio DeMar-co's face.

By the time DeMarco's corner mercifully tossed a white towel into the ring at Board-walk Hall in the eighth round, purplish bruises and welts had formed under both of DeMarco's eyes.

Broner (25-0, 21 KOs) punished DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KOs) en route to winning the lightweight championship via TKO before an announced crowd of 4,256.

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"I could say I'm good, but that wouldn't be right," Broner said after the fight. "I could say I'm great, but that wouldn't be right. I am elite. I'm an elite fighter that can make a great fighter look like an amateur and I think that's what I did tonight."

While Broner's brashness turns off some boxing fans, no one can dispute his limitless talent.

Broner's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, described him as a blend of current standout Floyd Mayweather Jr. and former champions Bernard Hopkins and De La Hoya himself.

Caesars Entertainment consultant Ken Condon, who books most of the fights that are held at Boardwalk Hall, was similarly impressed.

"That was an incredible performance," Condon said. "I think Adrien Broner is a special fighter and he'll go as far as he wants to go in the sport. He's that good. I'd love to have him back at Boardwalk Hall."

DeMarco, a rugged Mexican who possesses a sturdy chin, boundless determination and power in both hands, was supposed to pose a serious threat to Broner. The 23-year-old Cincinnati native was moving up a weight class and had not faced top-notch competition in his previous 24 fights.

But aside from the first round, when DeMarco landed some sharp left crosses and body shots, Broner dominated him. From the second round on, he chose to stand in front of DeMarco and proceeded to take him apart with a variety of punches. In the latter rounds, he connected with crisp, short uppercuts that landed with such force that DeMarco's head violently snapped back.

"As we know how to win, we also know how to lose," DeMarco said through an interpreter after the fight. "Without a doubt, Broner is a very complete fighter. This was a great experience for me in my career. I am a very brave guy and I will come back with even more hunger."

Even while absorbing punches that made ringside fans cringe, DeMarco refused to retreat until Broner knocked him backward with a barrage of hooks and uppercuts in the eighth. DeMarco staggered into the ropes and wound up on one knee. DeMarco gleefully danced into a neutral corner while referee Benjy Esteves began to count. DeMarco was about to get up when his trainers halted the fight at one minute, 49 seconds of the round.

Broner connected on 241 of 451 total punches (53 percent) and 216 of 373 power shots (58 percent), according to Com-puBox statistics. Over the last five rounds, he averaged 39 power punches per round, nearly triple the lightweight average of 14.

"It's hard to explain unless you're a fighter, but I know when it's time to box and when it's time to walk a guy down (and apply pressure)," Broner said. "When the eighth round began, I knew it was time to walk him down and end it. I don't go looking for knockouts, but I was able to press him and get the cheese."

Broner's future is bright but uncertain.

The former WBO super-featherweight champ can remain at lightweight and unify the titles against WBO champ Ricky Burns or perhaps move up to junior-welterweight or even welterweight to take on some of the top fighters in those divisions.

"I'll get together with my team and decide what the next move is," Broner said while holding up a diamond-encrusted watch that had a face the size of a bagel. "I'm only 23 years old and as you can see, I have a lot of time on my hands."

In addition to Broner, heavyweight Johnathon Banks and the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City were also big winners at Boardwalk Hall Saturday night.

Banks scored a stunning, second-round knockout over top heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell.

The Boys and Girls Club received a donation of $44,292 from Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya and Caesars Atlantic City to help rebuild the building that suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy.

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