The drumbeat to sign on against a superstar -- or at least a name guy with a more-than-solid résumé -- will beat louder after Adrien Broner knocked out Gavin Rees on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Broner, from Cincinnati, dropped the Welshman Rees in the fourth round and then again in the fifth. Rees, who had never been down in a fight -- even in sparring -- rose but took more shots, and his corner waved a white flag with a second remaining.
Afterward, Broner termed Rees tougher than an overcooked steak -- that he was, and more. In Round 1, the massive underdog showed mobility and pop. But Broner assessed him, got his joints lubed and got to work in Round 2.
Broner, 23, retained his 135-pound crown and upped his record to 26-0. Rees, 32, dropped to 37-2-1.
More people are lumping Broner in with Floyd Mayweather Jr., while others compare his skills to those of Sugar Ray Leonard. Maybe it's too early for that, as Rees' best wins are against fighters U.S. fans might not even know. But certainly we are closer to the time when we would like to see Broner find a dance partner who will get him closer to answering that question. Ricky Burns will meet fellow lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez on March 16, and Broner might get the winner of that tangle.
But moving forward, more people will be suggesting names such as Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Amir Khan.
Readers, what say you? Is Broner the next face of boxing, or do you need more time to determine that?