One of the year’s most-anticipated fights is coming to Atlantic City.
Negotiations were completed Tuesday for a bout that will feature WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) defending his title against former WBO junior-lightweight champ Adrian Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Heavyweight prospects Seth Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) and Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs) will open the “HBO Championship Boxing” card.
“Caesars continues its commitment to championship boxing by closing out the year with this sensational doubleheader at Boardwalk Hall,” Caesars Entertainment consultant Ken Condon said in a phone interview Tuesday. “Both fights should be very exciting."
Tickets for the card will go on sale next Tuesday. Seats, which will range from $25 to $200 for ringside, will be available at:
The show will be staged in Boardwalk Hall’s main arena. Officials are expected to scale it down to accomodate around 6,000 fans but will also leave room to expand if necessary.
DeMarco, a 26-year-old native of Mexico, will be making his third title defense. In his most recent outing, the southpaw needed just 44 seconds to notch a TKO over John Molina Jr. on Sept. 8.
“We have a lot of respect for Broner and his skills,” DeMarco’s promoter, Gary Shaw, told ESPN.com on Monday. “Broner will have his work cut out for him against DeMarco. He better take Tony seriously and train hard. DeMarco has already been in training for two weeks. He knows it’s a difficult fight. But (DeMarco) wanted to fight Broner, so he is excited to get the opportunity.”
Broner, a 23-year-old Cincinnati native, is moving up to 135 pounds after losing his 130-pound crown on the scale. He checked in more than three pounds over the junior-lightweight/super-featherweight limit the day before his fifth-round TKO over Vicente Escobedo last July 21.
Broner seldom has been challenged during his career, having posted 14 knockouts or TKOs in his last 15 fights.
“You got a lot of people out there asking, ‘Is Adrien Broner really the next big star in boxing?’ ” Broner told ESPN.com on Monday. “I know I am. I wanted to come straight to 135 pounds and fight the best. DeMarco is the champ and that’s who we are fighting.”
The fight also features an interesting clash of backgrounds and personalities.
The humble DeMarco spent his teen years living on the streets of Tijuana, Mexico.
“He’s come a long way from the streets, eating garbage out of garbage cans, not having a home to sleep in, to winning the world championship,” Shaw told Yahoo Sports last month.
Broner is a flamboyant, flashy fighter along the lines of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and retired Prince Naseem Hamed. He is known for following his bouts by asking his father, Thomas, to brush his hair before he does interviews. After beating Escobedo, he summoned his girlfriend, Arie Nicole, into the ring, dropped to a knee in a fake proposal, and asked her to do the honors.
“On Nov. 17, everyone will know why I’m ‘The Problem,’ ” Broner told ESPN.com. “Everybody has their time and it’s Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner’s time.”
Mitchell-Banks is a duel between two of top rated U.S. heavyweights.
Mitchell, a 30-year-old from Brandywine, Md., is No. 2 in the WBO ratings and No. 7 in the WBC. A former linebacker at Michigan State, Mitchell scored a third-round TKO over Paulsboro’s Chazz Witherspoon last April 28 at Boardwalk Hall.
Banks, a 30-year-old Detroit native, is ranked No. 4 in the WBO and 12th in the IBF. The former cruiserweight is 8-0-1 since moving up to heavyweight three years ago.
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