Header Ads

Adrien Broner, Mikey Garcia ready for career-defining fight

Between them, Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia, two of boxing's most well-known fighters, have won seven world title belts in seven weight classes.

Those numbers would seem to indicate that they have been involved in major fights against top names, but while each has faced recognizable opponents -- Broner has faced the likes of Shawn Porter, Marcos Maidana and Paulie Malignaggi and Garcia opponents such as Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez -- there is little argument that they will be facing the most significant opponent of their careers when they square off with each other.

Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia will square off at the Barlcays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night. Photo provided by Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
They are set to meet in a highly anticipated 12-round nontitle junior welterweight fight Saturday (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn that will see former four-division titlist Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) moving down one division and reigning lightweight titleholder Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) moving up one weight class for one of the more intriguing fights on the upcoming boxing calendar.

Garcia, 29, of Moreno Valley, California, is one of boxing's pound-for-pound best. He has won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight and looked tremendous in his two fights since coming off a 2.5-year layoff last summer caused by a lengthy legal battle with former promoter Top Rank.

Garcia won a lightweight world title by a crushing third-round knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin on Jan. 28 in Las Vegas in an extremely impressive performance, and his career is on the upswing. He is favored to defeat the inconsistent Broner but still views this as his biggest fight because Broner has such a big name in the sport.

"Well, he's the most accomplished fighter, a four-division world champion," Garcia said. "And like you said, a more recognized name. So that makes it a bigger deal. Fans and the media are more excited about my fight with Adrien Broner than some of the other world title fights around the category.

"This fight is much bigger still than some of the world title fights that me and Adrien have been part of and some of the title fights that are around the division. So it is a very big and fun fight, and it could definitely be seen as probably the biggest fight of both of our careers for Adrien and myself. But, you know, I'm not looking at that. I'm not letting that distract me from my task at hand, which is defeat Adrien Broner."

Despite Broner's accomplishments of winning titles at junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight, he has still been an underachiever to many because he has not beaten elite opponents and has had a tumultuous life outside the ring that has led to legal problems and jail time. He also has had well-chronicled issues making weight, which caused him to be stripped of his junior lightweight and junior welterweight titles.

He also struggled badly with his weight for a razor-close split decision win against Adrian Granados in February, a fight for which contract terms were changed ahead of time to increase the weight limit because of Broner's struggles. His only losses have come at welterweight via clear decisions to Porter and Maidana.

Yet here Broner is in a fight that will go a long way to determining where he goes in the sport. Will it be on to even bigger fights that so many figured he would regularly take part in when early in his career he often was compared to a young Floyd Mayweather, or will he become a steppingstone opponent with a good name?

Cincinnati's Broner, who turns 28 on Friday, knows this is a really big deal fight for him.

"He's another star in boxing, and he's undefeated," Broner said of facing Garcia. "Of course, it's a hell of a fight for me, and it's definitely going to be a defining moment for Adrien Broner."

While Garcia would have liked to unify lightweight titles, those bouts were not available to him and there was no other major name available to Broner at welterweight. So they elected to meet in the weight division in between, and few even care that it is not for a title.

"In this kind of case, I don't think the title matters," said Lou DiBella, who is co-promoting the card with Mayweather Promotions. "And you know what? I actually like the fight, too. They're fighting at 140. They're fighting at a legit weight class. It's not like some strange catch weight situation. They're fighting at 140, which for a guy [Garcia] who's a 135-pound champion, the highest you would expect Mikey to go for a challenge. And it's the best weight for Adrien. I mean he's undefeated at 140, and 147, frankly, is not his best weight.

"So I think this is a great fight. Personally, I think this is bigger than your average title fight."

The boxers are in agreement with DiBella.

"Everybody is excited for the fight," Garcia said. "It seems like it's bigger than some of the other title fights that are happening around the weight class and, you know, it just shows you the kind of fighter that Adrien Broner is. He has a lot of fans and he's a high-profile fighter and people see me as a high-profile fighter, and when two guys like us get in the ring, make sure it's a great matchup."

Said Broner: "It's a good fight for boxing. You got two fighters who were both on pound-for-pound [lists] at one point. He's a three-time world champion in three weight classes. I'm a four-time world champion of four different weight classes. This is a big fight for boxing."

In the co-feature, former junior middleweight world titleholder Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs), 27, of Houston, will square off with Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2, 16 KOs), a 30-year-old southpaw from Argentina, in a middleweight title eliminator that will position the winner for a mandatory shot at one of the belts presently held by Gennady Golovkin.

Showtime also plans to air highlights of the heavyweight fight between former world title challenger Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) and rising contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (18-0-1, 16 KOs), which it will also stream live on Facebook and YouTube beginning at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Source: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/20173025/adrien-broner-mikey-garcia-ready-career-defining-fight

No comments

Powered by Blogger.