Adrien Broner stopped Antonio DeMarco in the eighth round to take the WBC lightweight championship Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall.
Broner (25-0, 21 KOs) dominated from the outset, punishing DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KOs) until DeMarco's corner mercifully threw in the towel. Referee Benji Esteves stopped the fight at 1:49 of the round.
Broner, a 23-year-old Cincinnati native, uncorked a left uppercut that slammed against DeMarco's jaw and sent the 27-year-old Mexican to one knee. While Broner danced his way into a neutral corner, Esteves moved in to start counting. DeMarco's corner signaled him to stop the bout over DeMarco's mild protest.
"I'm proud of DeMarco for fighting the way he fought," DeMarco's promoter, Gary Shaw said. "But Broner's the total package. He could be the next Floyd (Mayweather, Jr.)."
Broner took control in the fifth, punishing DeMarco with uppercuts and straight rights that thudded against DeMarco's face and produced a bruise under his left eye to match the one under his right. Some fans cheered while others cringed at the onslaught. When the bell sounded, DeMarco walked wearily back to his corner.
"I was shaking and baking him until I flipped him up," Broner said. "I knew coming into this fight it was going to be a world-class fight. But I knew he didn't have the skills to beat me.
"I wanted to make a statement tonight and I did. He was definitely the toughest opponent I've faced. He was strong and could take a punch."
There was a minor controversy before the main event when DeMarco's camp complained that Broner's gloves were smaller. There was no scale to weigh the gloves in the dressing rooms — they are supposed to weigh eight ounces — so DeMarco was offered the opportunity to wear the same gloves as Broner and he agreed.
In the co-feature Detroit heavyweight Johanthon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) stopped Seth Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs) in the second round. Banks dropped the former Michigan State linebacker three times in the second, prompting referee Eddie Cotton to stop the fight at 2:38.