SAN DIEGO, July 29, 2017 – Mikey Garcia of Riverside, California made it an easy night for the three judges in Brooklyn, winning a dominant 12-round decision in his first fight at lightweight over Adrien “The Problem” Broner of Cleveland. Scores were 117-111 and 116-112 twice.
It was a career-defining fight for Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) in precisely the wrong way. Broner badly needed to jump-start a stalled career after several losses. He didn’t have the tools to deal with Garcia’s tremendous punch output, nearly doubling Broner’s punch output 783 to 400 total punches. Garcia threw 115 punches to Broner’s 44 punches in the last round, in a fight where he could have coasted to the final bell.
Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) isn’t known as a body puncher, but he adjusted for this fight to stay busy and landed combinations ending in body punches to wear Broner down. Coupled with the likelihood Brober was weight drained coming down to 140 pounds, it was the perfect approach. Garcia landed 152 of 328 power punches to just 72 of 161 for Broner; although the same 45 percent connect rate. Most of those punches were body shots for Garcia.
Garcia’s stock couldn’t be hotter, calling it one of his definitive career wins. “I think I controlled the fight from the early rounds, I kept the activity up,” said Garcia. “He’s a tough fighter, a great fighter. He’s got good skills. I was just better tonight.” Garcia also credited good training and sparring during camp, and being ready to do whatever it took to win.
Garcia credited his timing for his success in the ring including Saturday night. “I’ve always said I have very good timing, and it’s underestimated when you’re looking from outside the ring. But when you get the inside the ring with me, you find out I’m a step in front.”
Fans in Brooklyn booed a defiant Broner as he was interviewed after the fight in the ring by Showtime’s Jim Gray. “I gotta thank all the people who can to see me lose, came to see me win, ‘cause at the end of the day that’s the reason why I make all the money.
At the end of the day I’m a fighter, I come to fight, I come to win.”
Broner disagreed it was a “do or die” fight. “They said it’s a do or die fight. If I fight tomorrow, does everyone in this m—–f—– still come see me? I’m still AB, I’m still the Candyman, I’m still About Billions. If you want a rematch in California, I can do it.”
Broner disputed being tired, saying Garcia fought a better fight and was the better man Saturday. Nevertheless, “I’m still a four division champion and at the end of the night I’ll still be in the history books.” Broner may still consider himself a draw, but he’s now a name stepping stone for emerging talent to test itself. Promoters will still pay him if he draws an audience, but he can’t revert to the bad behavior he’s been known for earlier in his career. Still just 28 years old, Broner squandered his talents in the early days of his career, focusing too much on a flashy lifestyle than hard work honing his athletic skills.
Broner’s greatest long term value is as a cautionary tale to other young fighters.
Garcia says he knows people had questions about him after a two-year-plus layoff. “People wondered if my heart was still in it … I’m hungrier than ever, you can see the results … It shows we’re back and we’re ready to take over.”
Garcia has remade himself, going from a fighter no one wanted to see to a pound for pound threat. He has plenty of options, all good ones. “Anybody who wants to come join us on Showtime, they can give us a phone call. We’re ready for anybody.” Does he want to stay at 140 pounds? “We want to look at the options, I can come down to 135 for a big opponent fight, or I can stay at 140, or if the opportunity’s right, come up to 147.” The fight fans want is a matchup against Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko. Patience, friends.
Jermall Charlo made an impressive debut at middleweight after relinquishing his super middleweight title on the undercard, taking an injured.Jorge Sebastian Heiland of Argentina apart, winning when referee Benjy Esteves stopped the fight at 2:13 of the fourth round.
Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) looked strong and comfortable in his first middleweight fight. It couldn’t have been a greater contrast to the overwhelmed Heiland (29-5-2, 16 KOs), who looked awkward and ill at ease. Complicating matters for Heiland, he apparently suffered a knee injury prior to the fight. It showed up quickly in the ring. Heiland was unsteady and stiff legged. It was a significant handicap against an opponent as strong and mobile in the ring as Charlo.
It made for quick work for Charlo. He knocked Heiland down on a right hook in the second round, and he put Heiland down for good in the fourth round, sending Heiland flying across the ring. Although Heiland got up, he was wobbling so badly referee Esteves had to grab him and hold him up.
Charlo said he didn’t jump on Heiland too quickly, choosing to be more patient and deliberate. “Sometimes that (an injury) can be a decoy, you never want to jump in if it’s part of his game plan. So I stayed behind my jab, and continue to work, it’s gonna come.”
Charlo now becomes the mandatory challenger for the WBC middleweight title currently held by unified champion Gennady Golovkin. Is he ready for the big monster in the division?
“Hell yeah I’m ready,” declared Charlo. “Bring him on, bring on the biggest names at 160. I’m ready, I’m the real Tommy Hearns, I’m the new Sugar Ray Leonard at 160 … I’m ready for my turn.” Charlo’s skills aren’t too far behind his confidence. He’s one to watch and could be the future of the middleweight division.
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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