Buckeye battle goes to Broner over Granados; Peterson, Browne win

In a close, action-packed bout, Adrian Granados loses another close one as Adrien Broner does just enough to win the split decision at home in Cincinnati.

Adrien Broner (right) took a narrow split decision over Adrian Granados in an action-packed ten rounds in February. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

SAN DIEGO, February 18, 2017 – Love him or hate him, Adrian “The Problem” Broner puts on an entertaining fight win or lose. In yet another squeaker, Broner won a split decision over Adrian Granados in front of his hometown fans in Cincinnati Saturday.

Judge Steve Weisfeld (97-93) and Robert Pope (96-94) scored it for Broner: Phil Rogers (97-93) had it for Granados.

Don’t blame home cooking. The scores reflected what fans saw, an extremely close fight with action-packed rounds that could have gone either way depending on what you value most in boxing.

Adrien Broner (left) connected with better accuracy than opponent Adrian Granados according to ShoStats figures. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

Broner (33-2-0, 24 KOs) has always been a skilled fighter and knows how to make the most of what he’s brought to the ring on any given night. In this fight, Broner had more power and more speed. He’s always willing to hold, get dirty, and throw a forearm or an elbow or two.

But Broner also fails to follow up after he’s landed some good shots, content to ease back and coast for a bit. In contrast, Granados is a workhorse who relies a lot on volume rather than power. Granados got off to a quicker start, showing good hand speed and demonstrating the advantages of his taller height and greater reach. Broner took some of Granados’ advantage away when he held and brawled.

Adrian Granados gave it a great effort, but lost yet another close fight to Adrien Broner Saturday. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

Granados never let up. Still, Broner would connect and show flashes of the talent he’s always possessed and then he’d put it away in his back pocket again. It added up to a surprisingly fun firefight, with rounds starting off in favor of one man, then swinging to his opponent, and back again.

Broner started showing fatigue in the eighth round as Granados did more damage to Broner with sharp right hands, some of his better punches of the fight. But Broner’ gas tank wasn’t empty yet, and left a final impression on the judges by trading shots with Granados in a busy final round.

Broner was the more accurate fighter, landing 166 of 403 punches total (41 percent) to 146 of 683 for the busier Granados (21 percent) according to ShoStats. Broner landed 20 more power shots; both landed 23 jabs apiece.

Adrian Granados (left) and Adrien Broner are friends outside the ring, but inside the ring it was all business in the Buckeye State Saturday. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

Broner successfully got Granados to agree to a ten-round fight, which worked to his advantage along with the hometown venue. Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs) has now been on the wrong end of close decisions in all of his losses. He remains a solid opponent willing to bang and entertain.

After the bout, Broner told Showtime’s Jim Gray, “I knew that Adrian Granados was gonna come tough as a steak cooked too long … This was like four minus one, this was easy for me.” But Broner called Granados a “world class fighter,” saying “Lots of guys duck him, but I wanted to fight him because I knew he would bring the best out of me.”

Broner appeared to wince when the glove was removed from his left hand after the bout, and he said he hurt it in the first round when he hit Granados with a left hook.

A disappointed Granados said, “I know it wasn’t a pretty fight.” Granados claimed Broner “played games” by changing the weight limit for the fight and having problems during the weigh-in with a faulty scale. Appealing to the fans in the audience, he said, “You all seen the scorecards, it was a split decision. Give me the rematch, come to my house. Let’s do it at my house.” Broner replied, “I ain’t going back to Chicago.”

It’s difficult to tell when Broner is being sincere, but for a moment he turned serious.

“All jokes aside, I’m taking my career more serious … I want to give a public apology, not only to my fans but to the parents out who got the kids looking up to me for all the foolish things I’ve done in the past. I will be a better role model, a better father figure, and a better star for you all.” Better late than never.

Whatever Broner decides next, fans will watch anytime he steps into the ring, at least in the near future. At only 27, if he buckles down and knocks off the bad habits when he isn’t training for a fight, he has several prime years ahead of him.

Lamont Peterson (right) won a unanimous decision Saturday over David Avanesyan in Peterson's first welterweight bout. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing
Lamont Peterson (right) won a unanimous decision Saturday over David Avanesyan in Peterson’s first welterweight bout. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

Lamont Peterson executed a solid game plan and had a successful debut in the welterweight division with a unanimous decision over David Avanesyan. Scores were 116-112 X2, and 115-113. Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs) began by fighting behind his jab, effective until Avanesyan (22-2-1, 11 KOs) started figuring it out, in part by turning southpaw when needed to stay out of his way.

Peterson shifted gears and began investing in bodywork on the inside, then started adding hooks. With Peterson in front of him, Avanesyan tried to go to Peterson’s head with upper cuts. While a few landed, they could not stop the barrage of body shots Peterson was unloading with bad intentions through the middle rounds. Avanesyan was forced to engage at close quarters in a phone booth fight. Avanesyan continued shifting from orthodox to southpaw as a defensive tactic, but it caused him to be off balance and reduced his ability to punch with maximum power.

In the championship rounds, Peterson began mixing in hooks from both sides along with the body shots. Avanesyan stayed with him, and the pair provided the appreciative fans plenty of action right up to the final bell. Peterson landed 228 of 743 punches through (30 percent); Avanesyan 182 of 756 (24 percent). It was the final two rounds that gave Peterson the fight; the cards were close and he swept all judges’ scorecards.

Lamont Peterson (right) looked comfortable as a welterweight in winning a unanimous decision Saturday against David Avanesyan of Russia. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

Considering Peterson was coming off a 16-month layoff, it was a solid performance and just what the 33-year-oid needed at this stage of his career. Peterson said the break was to his benefit. “Sixteen months may sound like a long time, but when you are in the gym working it’s not a long time,” said Peterson. “It gave me time to work on some things, conditioning, and technique.”

Peterson is now the WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title holder, and the mandatory challenger in theory for the winner of the Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia bout scheduled on March 4. Who wouldn’t love to see a rematch with Garcia, as many people believe Peterson deserved the victory over Garcia in their first bout.

It was a rough ride in the opening fight on the broadcast. Midway through the second round of the light heavyweight bout between Marcus Browne (19-0, 14 KOs), of Staten Island, New York, and Thomas Williams Jr. (20-3, 14 KOs), of Fort Washington, Maryland, Browne hit Williams with a stiff jab that caused Williams’ glove to hit the canvas, and he wisely took a knee. No matter to Browne, who hit Williams in the back of the head when he was down. Referee Ken Milliner counted Williams, then called a foul and took a point from Browne. Williams was given time to recover; in the meantime, the referee didn’t seem to know whether to continue round two or start round three.

Marcus Brown (background) was penalized for hitting Thomas Williams (front) after he was down in the second round of their bout Saturday. Browne went on to win a sixth round knockout. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

Browne’s speed is far superior; Williams knew he needed to make the bout a firefight. In the fourth round, Williams had Browne on the ropes seeming to do damage when Browne scored a second knockdown with a smart right hook. William survived the round and showed he’s got physical and mental toughness. But his legs were gone and the plot for the rest of this story was already written.

Credit to Browne who stayed right on Williams to close the show with another good right hook in the third and final knockdown, ending the fight at 42 seconds of the sixth round. Williams’ corner told him to stay down; he argued but either did as he was told, or couldn’t get up anyway.

Marcus Browne (left) had too much speed and power for Thomas Williams Saturday, winning by sixth round knockout. Photo: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime Boxing

After the bout, “He didn’t look like he went down, so I made sure he went down … he looked like he was in a squat position.” Browne watched the replay, and said, “I wasn’t being dirty. Adonis, I won’t do that to you. Give me my shot baby!” referring to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. “I want that strap, let’s go!” Browne needs to be careful what he wishes for; one good outing won’t prep you for a title in the competitive light heavyweight division loaded with talent.

Officials reported after the bout that Williams had suffered a broken jaw and was unable to speak. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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