WBA super lightweight champion of the world Adrien Broner squares off against the number nine ranked contender Adrian ‘tigre’ Granados on 18th February.
Broner came unstuck in the stacked welterweight division losing out to the tenacious Marcos Rene Maidana and Shawn ‘Showtime’ Porter. He struggled to deal with the strength and intensity of both fighters who proved too much for him to handle.
However, since his drop back down to the 140lb division he has rediscovered his form with two stoppage victories over two solid opponents in the shape of Allakhverdiev and Mayweather Promotions fighter Ashley Theopane.
Few fans will have heard of his opponent Adrian Granados. His last outing will do very little to prepare him for someone of Broner’s class. He beat Nicaraguan journeyman fighter Ariel Vasquez via way of a unanimous decision. Vasquez has lost 16 fights and his last win came 9 fights ago.
The standout win of Granado’s career came a year ago when he fought the then undefeated Amir Imam. Interest in the New Yorker, Imam, was rapidly rising and after his 16 knockouts from 19 wins he was being hotly tipped to be the next star 140 pounder.
However all rising prospects must eventually face a man that has the ability to test them and Granados, as it turned out, happened to be the man to deal the humbling blows. The win transformed him into a top ten fighter and put him in the mix for a big fight.
Granados climbed off the canvas after suffering a knockdown in the first round from a right hand counter as he lunged in and left his feet trailing. However he recovered well and didn’t lose belief in himself. He turned the fight in his favour by exerting relentless pressure on Imam and grew in confidence round by round eventually breaking him.
The fight showed he has plenty of heart and the ability to box on the front foot very much in the style that Maidana boxed Broner when he handed him a loss. I think Granados will try to utilise these same tactics against Broner. He will want to smother Broner’s work and push him back to the ropes then work tirelessly on the inside with his excellent stamina.
I feel that Broner is on another level to Imam completely. He has been in with better opponents at a higher weight class and retains his power throughout the twelve rounds. He is also far more accurate than Imam and doesn’t load up on every shot.
Although stylistically Granados looks a difficult match up for Broner he is not a welterweight and he simply does not have the pedigree or experience of a Porter or Maidana. I don’t think he will be able to achieve what these two world class fighters did. It would be surprising if Broner didn’t pass this test with flying colours. Granados will be there to hit.
Although many people like to look at Broner’s defeats, lets not forget, he’s a four weight world champion and still only 27 years of age. Broner is a sybarite by nature and has had the talent to get away with this and still achieve great things in the sport of boxing. But I think now with the help of the likes of Mayweather he has realised that he has to strike a better balance if he wants to go on to crack the welterweight division in the future.