Problem? What problem?

  • Last Updated: February 27 2013, 6:22 GMT

Our boxing expert Derek Bilton presents his latest world top 10 pound-for-pound list after Adrien Broner's 26th victory.

Adrien Broner: Outclassed Gavin Rees
Adrien Broner: Outclassed Gavin Rees

Problem? What problem?

Adrien Broner is one 'problem' the noble art can actually do with right now.

'The Problem', from Cincinnati, chalked up win number 26 of a fabulous career to date as he stopped a gallant but ultimately overmatched Gavin Rees in the fifth round of their clash in Atlantic City recently.

He took a while to get going against Rees but once he did he was absolutely scintillating. A natural counter-puncher, Broner is lightning fast and can punch with authority with both fists. Defensively and offensively he is a joy to watch.

Be it the way he delivers those devastating uppercuts through the middle, or the way he rolls his shoulders in the best traditions of a Pernell Whitaker or a James Toney to avoid a shot by inches while standing in the line of fire.

Defensive brilliance and concussive power combined together in boxing are as potent as prison hooch and it is easy to see why the US TV paymasters are salivating at the thought of the WBC lightweight champion maturing, progressing and turning into the definitive article.

I see no current weakness in Broner (who is up to number six on our latest P4P list), and if his head is not turned by the trappings of fame and success we really could be looking at a fighter for the ages.

Comparisons with current 'pound-for-pound' boss Floyd Mayweather are inevitable.

Both are slick, brash unbeaten African-American fighters who delight and infuriate fans in equal measure.

However I would advise 'The Problem' against trying to become 'the next Floyd Mayweather' and instead focus his efforts on trying to become the best that he can be.

Natural gifts are essental at the top level in this darkest of trades, but without hard work and dedication they count for little long term. Ask Bernard Mays. Ask Tony Ayala Jr. Ask Naseem Hamed.

As for Mayweather, one has to commend him for signing to fight Robert Guerrero later this year. Rumours were rife that his next opponent would be Devon Alexander, the same Devon Alexander who just a week or so ago pulled out of a scheduled fight with Kelly Brook citing a damaged bicep.

Mayweather-Alexander would have been a travesty, but in Guerrero he takes on a fighter on a wonderful winning run who genuinely comes to fight.

'The Ghost', 31-1-1 (18), has been telling anyone who would listen that he wants to mix it with Mayweather for some time now, and he finally gets the chance to spook the 'pound-for-pound' king on May 4.

It's an intriguing fight and 'Money' Mayweather is not the racing certainty some people will have you believe. This is his first fight since being released from prison, and in his last bout he was caught regularly and banged up pretty good by Miguel Cotto (though in the end he won handily on points).

Guerrero is a southpaw at the peak of his powers. Tall and rangy, he is young enough and hungry enough to give Floyd hell if he doesn't let the occasion get the better of him.

As well as this, Nonito Donaire has also announced that his next fight will be against the brilliant, unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux.

'Filipino Flash' Donaire was sensational in his last bout as he iced rugged Mexican Jorge Arce in three rounds and rather than rest on his laurels he is going straight back in with another dangerman in Rigondeaux.

Don't be fooled by the fact that Rigondeaux has only had 11 pro fights. He was one of the very best amateur boxers the sports has known and won the WBA world super-bantamweight title in just his eighth fight.

It really should be a cracking fight on April 13 in New York with Donaire's WBO and Rigondeaux's WBA super-bantamweight world titles on the

Fights like this (not to mention Carl Froch-Mikkel Kessler II) are just what boxing needs to catapult it back to the mainstream after being marginalised for so many years by unscrupulous promoters and a plethora of nonsensical organisations, belts and phoney titles.

Sportinglife.com pound-for-pound world top 10:

1 Floyd Mayweather
2 Juan Manuel Marquez
3 Andre Ward
4 Manny Pacquaio
5 Nonito Donaire
6 Adrien Broner
7 Sergio Martinez
8 Wladimir Klitschko
9 Timothy Bradley
10 Robert Guerrero

Honourable mentions: Saul Alvarez, Roman Gonzalez, Brandon Rios, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Carl Froch and Yuriorkis Gamboa.


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