MIKEY GARCIA'S BRILLIANCE THE LATEST PROBLEM FOR ADRIEN BRONER
By Tom Watt on Aug 2nd 2017
This past weekend saw Mikey Garcia remain undefeated, defeating Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner to pick up his first win at 140lbs and further cement his claim as one of the P4P best fighters in the World right now. However, much of the post-fight focus has centred around the apparent decline of 4-weight World Champion, Adrien Broner, who suffered his 3rd defeat in as many years in a frustratingly lack-lustre performance. And with this loss, the light which has shone brightly in the Boxing world (not always for the right reasons) may finally be fading into obscurity.
Coming into Saturday’s showdown, Broner looked in great shape, weighing in well-below the 140lbs limit and avoiding the much-publicised $500,000 penalty in place had he failed to do so, and although there was elements of the Cincinnati-born fighter’s usual bravado, Broner seemed focussed on the task in hand. Having taken himself away from the distractions of Cincinnati for training camp, Broner was hoping to recapture his early career form that saw him fly through 4 different weight classes and being named heir-apparent to Floyd Mayweather before being ceremoniously toppled by Marcos Maidana in 2014 at Welterweight. Broner’s only other defeat prior to Saturday was also at Welterweight so many believed the drop back to Super-Lightweight was a smart move.
The choice of opponent however, was always going to be dangerous because despite coming up from 135lbs, Mikey Garcia is one of the most technically proficient and natural Boxers in the World right now and had it not been for 2 years of inactivity due to a promotional dispute, he would be undoubtedly be one of the Sport’s main attractions. Widely acclaimed within Boxing circles, Garcia’s slick boxing, likeable personality and willingness to fight anyone are the hallmarks for success and Saturday’s victory will have catapulted the undefeated Californian into the focus of the wider public who had perhaps not been given a chance to appreciate the greatness he brings to the ring.
For those in the know, Mikey Garcia’s brilliance is no secret, at 37-0 he has rarely come close to being tested in the ring. A product of his brother’s gym in California, the soft-spoken Garcia fights with such ease and confidence that it can be easy to underestimate just how good he really is, often making very commendable opponents look very average, something he did from the get-go on Saturday night. In his last fight prior to the weekend, Garcia handed out one of the best knockouts of the year to previously undefeated World Super Lightweight Champion, Dejan Zlaticanin – an incredibly tough and durable fighter who bullied Ricky Burns out of a WBC International Title in 2014.
The way in which Garcia controlled the fight from the opening bell on Saturday isn’t out of the ordinary for him and whilst many fans and pundits will point the finger to Broner for a luck-lustre display, much of his inability to perform was due to Garcia’s ability to control distance and the pace of the fight. Broner had previously been beaten, but only through the sheer tenacity and aggression of Maidana and Porter at 147lbs in fights where they were able to bully and pressure ‘The Problem’ into mistakes and forcing him out of his comfort zone, knowing they would likely lose a straight Boxing match. Garcia however, totally out-boxed and outclassed, something nobody had seen before, underlining the sheer class of Boxing’s newest superstar.
Speculation will continue as to the future of Broner, can the cocky and flamboyant showman recover once more and bring himself back to the pinnacle of the Sport? Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, he’s still a draw and people will pay to see him lose – so it’s entirely possible he can talk himself back into another big fight and as we all know, one big win can change everything in Boxing.
But what next for the victor? Names are already being bandied about as to Garcia’s next opponent with Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford both early favourites from the fan’s perspective – Crawford faces Julius Indongo in a unification fight August 19th and is widely expected to win. However given that Top Rank promote both Crawford and Lomachenko, and given Garcia’s frosty relationship with them, these fights may be a pipe-dream unless it is mandated by one of the governing bodies. With all the 140lbs titles spoken for we may see Garcia back at the stacked 135lbs division defending his WBC Title where a mouth-watering showdown with Luke Campbell or Jorge Linares could be on the cards.