The undefeated and highly reputable,Mikey Garcia, takes on Adrien Broner who is looking to resurrect himself as a superstar in the sport of boxing by claiming perhaps the biggest scalp in the game on July 29th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City, USA.
Garcia is the flavour of the division and one of the most feared boxers in the sport; and for good reason too. He’s a real quality fighter who has power in abundance and his fundamentals are on point despite the fact that he has a more typically Mexican, attacking style.
Since his frustrating layoff he has come back looking as good as he ever has done, if not better. It was almost like he never had time out the sport. After 2 and half years without a fight, he made swift work of Elio Rojas in his comeback fight. This set him up for a shot at the WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin who he disposed of in devastating style.
We don’t know how his power will translate as he fights bigger stronger men. Adrien Broner trailblazed through the lightweight division before Mikey Garcia and he was knocking everyone out; the likes of Perez, Escobedo and Antonio Demarco.
However his premature jump to welterweight showed that he wasn’t the dominant knockout merchant up in the kingpin division. In that respect, is it possible that people are overplaying Garcia’s knockout power? We could actually be watching two fighters who have relatively even power at their disposal.
This is the first time that Broner is going into a fight in his career where he is the rank underdog. On his rise to becoming a multiple weight champion he looked like an unstoppable train without any brakes. Now though his career has stalled. Although he is back to winning ways, he has not been boxing the real elite fighters in megafights which is where a boxer of his flamboyant nature and talent needs to be.
We know that Broner can be out-hustled, pressurised into mistakes by high intensity, high output fighters and physically strong fighters. That was proven in his losses to Marcos Maidana and ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter.
He has a tendency to admire his good work and this causes him to lose focus. Broner cannot afford to get pushed back to the ropes and rely on his Mayweather style shoulder roll technique. As good as that defensive trick is, Broner has sometimes overused it and stood static for too long allowing opponents too long to tee off on him. This is where he will find himself getting into real trouble against Garcia. If he lets his feet come square with his back to the ropes Garcia will have no doubts in letting rip some hurtful combinations.
If Broner is going to win this fight he really needs to be able to stamp his own authority in terms of territory and not let Mikey force him onto the backfoot too often. He needs to gain his respect early by landing something significant and up the number of punches he throws.
A humiliating, humbling defeat to the roughhouse Argentinian, Marcos Maidana, seemed to spell the start of a downwards spiral for the Cincinatti talent both inside and out of the ring. There is no doubt that Broner’s stock has dropped quite considerably over the past couple of years with unconvincing wins over solid operators with relatively small profiles such as Adrian Granados who he beat via split decision in his last outing back in February 2017.
Some say a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Broner is at projecting a more focused and dedicated individual. Is Broner version 2.0 lacking the x-factor he once seemed to have in abundance? It is the same x-factor that Mikey Garcia carries now. It is an aura of invincibilty only usually carried by undefeated fighters.
Broner is still undefeated at 140lbs though. People have been far too critical of him. The fact is we don’t want a boring Broner. This sport needs characters. He’s a four weight world champion and still only 27 years old. If his efforts to clean up his act outside the ring are genuine we could be in for a great fight, a much closer fight than many are suggesting.
How will Garcia react to Broner’s power? Broner is a bigger man and harder punching fighter than anyone Garcia has fought before in the pro ranks. Mikey has suffered a flash knockdown against Roman Rocky Martinez; a short right hand as he moved in to close range. It suggests Broner should have the capability to drop him should he get over careless.
One thing is for sure, if Garcia beats Broner in good fashion it is a clear sign that he has the ability to challenge the beltholders up in the 147lbs welterweight division. With his momentum and power you’d have to favour Garcia to get the win but this is a very intriguing fight. For me a Broner win would be no shock. I still rate him as an elite fighter capable of beating the best.