We all knew Marcos Maidana had the punching power to potentially get in the way of brash, unbeaten Adrien Broner's best-laid plans to superstardom.
But it turns out the hard-charging Argentine had equally abundant quantities of heart, poise and an unrelenting motor to expose the welterweight titlist on Saturday in a dramatic action bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), 30, hurt Broner in the opening round, knocked him down with a hard left hook in Round 2 and went on to simply outwork the 24-year-old to score a unanimous decision (115-110, 116-109, 117-109).
Broner (27-1, 22 KOs), who was knocked down a second time on yet another left hook in a wild Round 8 -- which featured Maidana being docked a point for head-butting -- showed plenty of heart in defeat after being rocked multiple times. But the loss clearly exposed his lack of punch output as Maidana beat him with activity just as much as with power shots and a focus to the body.
Maidana outlanded the three-division titlist 269-149, according to CompuBox, and attempted more than two times as many shots.
Key moment: Maidana set the tone in the opening seconds by staggering Broner with his patented windmill right hand, forcing "The Problem" to spend the rest of the opening frame looking to tie up.
We've got your number: 231. That's the number of power shots landed by Maidana, who put Broner on the defensive right off the start and never stopped attacking with combinations from awkward angles.
Last word: Broner is as talented as any fighter in boxing today, but Maidana, thanks to a suffocating attack, simply wanted it more and was able to overwhelm and overpower him. The way in which Broner was defeated begs an interesting question about whether a recent move up two weight divisions from 135 to 147 pounds was too hasty. Broner stands directly in front of his opponents, looking to counter with quick, accurate shots, but he hasn't necessarily convinced that he has carried his power with him up to welterweight. Maidana followed the blueprint for intelligent pressure against Broner, drawn up by Daniel Ponce De Leon and Paulie Malignaggi in tight defeats, and applied his punching power appropriately to see through the plan.