At 26-years-old, Broner, who lost his 140-pound world title on the scale when he failed to make the bout’s weight limit, improved his record to 32-2, 24 KOs. The controversial fighter from Cincinnati, Ohio, displayed his strength and range of skills against a seasoned Theophane, whose record dropped to 39-7-1, 11 KOs.
Tonight’s show was promoted by About Billions Promotions and Mayweather Promotions in association with HeadBangers Promotions.Mayweather Promotions President Floyd “Money” Mayweather sat ringside throughout the evening to pay particular attention to the performances of Mayweather Promotions fighters including Theophane, Gervonta Davis and J’Leon Love, who fought on the undercard.
Broner came out in the early rounds showing his speed and versatility, only to be stymied by a game Theophane who showed his own array of boxing skills. Before long, Broner’s ring prowess proved to be too much for Theophane, as he landed power shots at will and began dominating. As Broner wore his opponent down it became easier for him to overpower Theophane and finally stop him in the ninth round.
“When people fight me, they come with their ‘A’ game, and he came with his ‘A’ game. But even his ‘A’ game wasn’t enough tonight.
“As you know, I’ve been going through a lot and for me to come in here and bottle everything up and do what I did, I want to give myself a pat on the back.”
Theophane was disappointed and didn’t agree with the stoppage.
“I thought the stoppage was premature because I thought I was in the fight. Me and Broner were going at it. It looked like he was starting to get tired because he started to move around and wasn’t able to stay there with me as much.
“I thought the fight was back and forth and I think the next four rounds would have been the same. No way should the fight have gotten stopped. It’s a shame the referee did that. I was telling the referee, ‘I’m okay, I’m okay.’ Then he waived it off. I don’t know what he was thinking.”
In the co-feature bout of the night, unbeaten Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KO) showed why he’s a rising star with a devastating KO at 2:43 in the 5th round over former world champion Algenis Mendez (23-4-1, 12 KOs) in a lightweight fight that finished with the crowd on their feet. Easter, who took a big step up in competition facing Mendez, showed the patience of a season veteran in the early rounds against Mendez who represented the Dominican Republic in the 2004 Olympics and now fights out of Brooklyn.
It didn’t take Easter long to get comfortable and pick up his pace in the third and fourth rounds, with an array of body shots and uppercuts, that found their mark against the game Mendez. Easter closed the show when he knocked down Mendez with a devastating one punch knock-out via a stiff right hand. Mendez got up from the knocked down but was unable to continue, forcing the referee to stop the contest.
“My performance was okay. I could have done better, but I’m happy. I got touched more than I expected. Once I settled down, I knew I was going to catch him. I had to stay patient.
“Two boxers makes for a boring fight. I wanted to go in there and brawl, but be smart. I knew when I stepped on the gas I would put him to bed and that’s what I did. He was definitely the toughest opponent I have faced in a shorter fight. He is a former champ and he came in ready.
“This was a huge opportunity for me and I’m just happy I got the knockout. For what it’s worth, I feel good…at least physically I do. I’m pretty disappointed because of the way things turned out, but boxing is a difficult sport.
“I don’t have any excuses. I’m glad that I feel fine physically, that’s the most important thing right now. Robert Easter is a good fighter, he did really well and I wish him the best in his career.”
In tonight’s PBC on Spike opener, top prospect Gervonta “The One” Davis (15-0, 14 KOs) thrilled the crowd with a TKO at :29 of the sixth round over Mexico’s Guillermo Avila (15-6, 12 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight bout that showcased the young Davis’ versatility. Davis, who pressed the action throughout the fight while the combatants engaged in many competitive exchanges, showed off his emerging talent as a multi-dimensional young pugilist.
The fight’s action picked up in the fourth when one of Davis’s punches caused a cut underneath Avila’s left eye. Davis continued his assault in the fifth when he landed a straight left hand to send Avila to the canvas. In the sixth and final round Davis came out of his corner and immediately jumped on his opponent causing the referee to halt the action.
“I knew he was a strong opponent. He kept bouncing back and I actually thought he was going to get up at the end too. He is very experienced and I thank him for taking the fight. He brought out the best in me.
“There is always room to get better and better, but this is another step toward my dream. I’m happy with my performance and it is even more special to have done it where I made my pro debut, so close to home.
“I’m happy I could get this victory for my team, Floyd Mayweather and everyone that supports me.”
“We prepared really well and think we did well,” said Avila “The cut came from a head-butt which complicated the situation for me as it didn’t let me see properly from that point forward. But it is what it is -he won. He’s good, and he hits hard.
“I appreciate everyone who was supporting me and my team. This is not the end of my career. I’m young and this is the type of sport where you just have to bounce back. We’re going to move on with our head up. There’s no other choice.”