Unbeaten Adrien Broner (22-0, 18KOs) of Cincinnati will be defending his newly-won WBO Super Featherweight Championship against undefeated Eloy Perez (23-0-2, 7KOs) at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Feb. 25. The 22-year-old Broner won the vacant title by a third-round knockout over Vicente Rodriguez in front of his hometown fans last November. The champion has promised fans he’ll knock out the 25-year-old Perez early in the bout.
Looking at their records, it’s obvious Perez lacks the power needed to keep Broner off of him. Seven knockouts in his 23 wins means Perez is used to going the distance in the majority of his fights. However, if he can manage to take Broner’s power shots, he has a slight chance of pulling off an upset.
Broner beat Jason Litzau by a first-round TKO and former WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon by a unanimous decision before winning the title while Perez stopped Ira Terry in the sixth round and Daniel Jiminez in the second in his last two fights, which should give him a bit of confidence. He was also named 2011’s Fighter of the Year by the NABO recently. Overall, Perez has won eight straight fights with six of them coming by the way of knockout, so perhaps he’s just a late bloomer when it comes to power. Broner has stopped 12 of his last 13 opponents.
Broner and Perez had planned on meeting earlier in their careers, but negotiations fell through. There’s no doubt Perez didn’t want to miss out on a title shot though and there were no problems making a deal this time around. Perez has earned his shot the old fashioned way by facing a string of tough opponents. He’s been pretty impressive over the past few years and Golden Boy Promotions has signed him on.
Perez, who is of Mexican heritage, but was born in Washington state, realizes he’s the underdog going into the fight, but said he’s been the underdog most of his career and it motivates him. He said his hard work has paid off and if he can keep it up he could walk out of the ring with the world championship belt wrapped around his waist. Broner feels that Perez’s perceived lack of power is going to be his downfall though and he’ll simply be able to outgun his challenger.
Perez replied by thanking Broner for the title shot and he’ll just give it his best effort and see what happens. Perez will have to be ready for an all-out assault as soon as the bell rings since Broner’s a fast starter and has 10 first-round knockouts to his credit already. Perez feels he’s got a good chin and can take Broner’s best shots. He was dropped to the canvas by Dannie Williams back in 2009, but picked himself up and won the bout by a unanimous decision.
If Broner gets a little wild or overenthusiastic he could get caught by Perez. However, Broner likes to throw fast combinations and if he can’t stop Perez by his one-punch power it’s likely that an accumulation of shots will eventually stop the challenger.