PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was a time when Adrien Broner believed he was the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather as boxing’s pound-for-pound king. The Cincinnati, Ohio native had the moxie, the mouth and the strut down. What was missing was the talent and the discipline. Consequently, “The Problem” had problems out of the ring that derailed his fast track to stardom, with a police blotter sheet that’s a decade old.
Mikey Garcia also seemed deemed towards a stunning boxing career, too. His problems, too, occurred outside the ring when his career arc was stunted by a two-year layoff due to a promotional contract squabble with Top Rank, which has since been settled.
On Saturday night, Broner (33-2, 24 KOs), a four-division champion, will see if he can revive the superstar talk when he takes on the undefeated Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), the WBC lightweight titleholder, this Saturday night at 9 p.m. in a 140-pound, 12-round fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on “Showtime Championship Boxing.”
Broner, who’s never lost at 140 or under, needs this more than Garcia.
“This will take me to the superstar level where I need to be,” said Broner said during the press tour. “I heard Mikey is a big favorite — they aren’t giving me much of a chance. I hope no one puts their house against me on this fight, because it won’t work out well for you. This fight will definitely bring the best out of me, because Mikey isn’t a sloppy fighter, he isn’t an awkward fighter. He’s a Mexican, but he boxes like an African American. We’re going to have a nice fight and I can’t wait to put on a show.”
At 135 and below, Broner looked like he could make some compare him to “Money.” But as he rose in weight, the power he used to dominate smaller fighters waned. He was beaten pretty thoroughly by Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter.
As for Garcia, the question has be asked can his carry his power up from 135. Garcia has stopped four of his last five opponents, including arguably his best performance as a pro when he easily took out previously undefeated Dejan Zlaticanin with a third-round TKO to win a lightweight belt. This will be the first timer he’s ventured north of 135 in his career.
But there are strong indications this is Garcia’s fight to lose. He’s far more disciplined in and out of the ring than Broner, who’s had issues making weight in the past. He’s also smart enough not to be lured into Broner’s game, and that’s a slugfest. On fight night, Broner could possibly be anywhere between eight to 10 pounds heavier than Garcia. A slower, phone booth fight may favor Broner, while a quick, skilled pace seems more Garcia’s game.
The future bodes well for whomever wins.
Record: 33-2 (24 KOs)
Last 5: 4-1
Last 10: 8-2
Record: 36-0 (30 KOs)
Last 5: 5-0
Last 10: 10-0