By Ian S Palmer
Former undefeated WBO Super Featherweight Champion and current WBC Lightweight Champ Mikey Garcia will be taking on former four-division champion and fellow American Adrien Broner at the Barclays center in Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, July 29th. The 12-round junior welterweight bout is a non-title fight and can be seen live in the U.S. on Showtime while fans in the UK can catch the action on Sky Sports. Garcia last fought in January when he won the lightweight title with a spectacular knockout over Dejan Zlaticanin. Broner’s last outing was in February when he beat Adrian Granados by a 10-round split decision.
The 29-year-old Garcia of Ventura, California will climb through the ring with a perfect 36-0 record with 30 of his wins coming by Ko. He has a 68-inch reach and stands 5-feet-6-inches tall. He’s also a former world featherweight champion and was inactive most of 2014 and 2015 due to promotional issues. Garcia has better than average power with a current knockout ratio of 83 per cent and is also a fast, solid boxer. He’s fought 178 rounds since turning pro back in 2006.
There isn’t really a weak side to Garcia’s game as his speed, power and boxing skills have simply been too much for all of his opponents so far. Garcia has some impressive wins against quality opponents such as Juan Carlos Burgos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Rafael Guzman, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Barros and Mauricio Pastrana. H’s basically the total package and it’s too bad he missed so much time away from the sport.
He’s still young enough to be in his prime though and this is a huge opportunity for him. Garcia may not be as well known to the average boxing fan as he should be. He’s simply one of the best out there, but will be moving up to the 140 lb. weight limit for the first time. If either fighter comes in over weight he’ll be penalized $500,000. Garcia shouldn’t have a problem with the weight, but he won’t be the naturally bigger man here. It’ll also be interesting to see how his power travels north with him.
The 27-year-old Adrien Broner hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and will turn 29 a day before the fight. He’s a former world champion at junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight. He’ll climb through the ropes with a record of 33-2 along with 24 Kos. Broner suffered his two defeats at the hands of Marcos Maidana of Argentina in 2013 and fellow American Shawn Porter back in June of 2015, who both beat him by 12-round unanimous decisions.
Broner possesses enough talent to be an elite boxer, but his maturity level and work habits could both do with a lot of improvement. He keeps promising fans that he’s changed, but they’ll have to wait until Saturday night to judge for themselves. Broner stands just over 5-feet-6-inches tall with a 69.5-inch so there isn’t much size difference between him and Broner. He possesses excellent speed and good power under as well as plenty of pro experience.
Broner’s fought 199 rounds since turning pro in 2008 and has a current knockout ratio of 67 per cent. He’s beaten some good opponents over the years such as Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jason Litzau, Eloy Perez, Vicente Escobedo, Antonio DeMarco, Gavin Rees, Paulie Malignaggi, Carlos Molina, John Molina Jr., Emmanuel Taylor and Khabib Allakhverdiev. Broner may have plenty of problems outside of the ring, but he’s still one of the best boxers inside of the squared circle at the moment and can’t be underestimated against the unbeaten Garcia.
Even though he’s despised by many fans, there’s no doubt that Broner is an elite boxer and Garcia can’t underrate him. Maidana and Porter showed how to beat him though and that’s simply to be the aggressor and be in his face all night. Broner’s chin is okay, but it’s certainly not the greatest and Garcia should test it as often and early as he can. This is an excellent matchup, but Garcia’s dedication to the sport compared to Broner’s should be the difference. I think Garcia wins this fight and a stoppage wouldn’t be a surprise.