In a nutshell, it was precise power-shots versus activity that was on display last Saturday evening at the Honda Center.
On one hand, Adrien Broner stood in the middle of the ring and connected with countless punches to the head and body of Daniel Ponce De Leon, who threw 241 more punches than Broner, but landed far fewer.
The result was Broner walked away with an unpopular unanimous decision in their super-featherweight bout as Judges David Denkin and Raul Caiz Jr. each scored it 96-94, while Tony Crebs had it 99-91.
Broner was on target with 36 percent of his total punches, 42 percent of his power shots and 23 percent of his jabs.
Meanwhile, Ponce De Leon, who came in with a seven-fight winning streak, found the range on 21 percent of his total punches, 4 percent of his jabs, and 30 percent of his power punches.
From ringside, the decision seemed proper, but many of the 11,674 fans felt Ponce De Leon (41-3-0 with 34 knockouts) was robbed.
“You have to give respect to Ponce De Leon,” said Broner, who hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised his record to 20-0-0 with 16 knockouts. “A lot of people didn’t think that I could go 10 rounds and keep it up.”
Broner’s best round was the fifth, and felt pleased with his effort and the final outcome. “My game plan was to use my skills, don’t make it a brawl, and keep my composure,” he said.
Not much happened in the initial round, but Ponce De Leon came on late in the next round, while Broner also had a few bright moments.
Ponce De Leon doesn’t speak English, so Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions and a former world champion, translated.
“He feels like he’s a winner,” he said. “That’s what Ponce De Leon is. He’s a fighter. He’s a warrior. He’s going back to the drawing board. Get back on a winning streak. He’s still improving and he’s still learning.”
Ponce De Leon attacked the body in the third round, and Broner counter-punched. The fifth round saw Broner land two terrific shots that stunned Ponce De Leon, a one-time champ, while the sixth round was tight and saw Broner score late with a left, while Ponce De Leon went to the body.
Each man shined in the seventh round, as Ponce De Leon connected with two big lefts to the head, and Broner counter-punched late.
Following the script, Ponce De Leon threw a lot of punches over the final three rounds, with Broner waiting until he could land the more-solid blows.
In other bouts, undefeated James Kirkland knocked out Ashandi Gibbs (10-3-0 with 4 KO’s) 36 seconds into the opening round of their middleweight fight.
Kirkland (26-0-0 with 23 KO’s) had been in prison on a gun charge, and wants to resume his promising career.
“I’m so focused and anxious,” Kirkland said. “I can only look forward to the future.”
Once-defeated, Brooklyn, New York’s Daniel Jacobs stopped Robert Kliewer in the first round of their super-middleweight clash.
Jacobs (22-1-0 with 19 KO’s) knocked Kliewer (11-13-2 and 5 KO’s) down twice, and the end came with 1:02 left in the round.
In a heavyweight match, undefeated Seth Mitchell toyed with Charles Davis (19-22-3 with 4 KO’s) over two rounds.
In the second round, Mitchell decked Davis three times, and the mismatch was over when Mitchell tagged Davis with a thunderous left hook. “I’m humble and grateful for the opportunity,” said Mitchell (21-0-1 and 15 KO’s). “I’m excited about the future.”