Story by: Robert Uzzell
BROOKLYN, NY – If you didn’t know who Mikey Garcia was before Saturday, your excuse could’ve been he was nowhere to be found from February 2014 to June 2016. Garcia had legal troubles with his former promoter and sat out during that two-and-a-half-year period. On the other hand, you could mention that you didn’t follow weight classes below junior welterweight.
However, even the most casual fan identifies with the brash, bold Adrien Broner. If you followed AB on Saturday night, you have no more excuses to lack knowledge of Garcia.
Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) put on a clinic as he stepped up to 140 pounds and had an easy time defeating Broner by unanimous decision. Scores were 117-111 (Eric Marlinski), and 116-112 twice (Steve Weisfeld and Don Ackerman). TheFightJournal.com scored it 118-110. I found it difficult to give Broner more than three rounds and wonder how Weisfeld and Ackerman gave AB four rounds on their cards. Maybe it was my seat in the media area.
The smaller Garcia controlled the fight almost from the start as he came forward and forced Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) on his back foot. In the case of Adrien Broner, this usually spells doom. Each round, the pattern of Mikey Garcia landing and Broner shaking his head to indicate he wasn’t hurt repeated itself. Adrien Broner, a good defensive fighter, once again refused to punch enough to win a fight. It has to be puzzling to fans and media why he can’t pull the trigger. However, on Saturday night I think the reason was the fear of what Garcia had waiting in return.
Despite the two and a half year absence, and only two fights in almost four years, Mikey put the pound-4-pound world on notice. Had Mikey not been off, he most likely would be in boxing’s top five. I have to be honest. I’m not so sure he shouldn’t be there now.
Garcia seemed to be one, sometimes two steps ahead of Broner from the third round on, as he began to get into his rhythm.
To understand how dominant Garcia was in this fight, just look at the amount of punches each guy threw:
Punches Landed / Thrown – TOTAL
Garcia threw 783 punches to 400 by AB. He also landed 244 to only 125 by AB. In other words, he threw 383 more and landed 119 more, yet equaled Broner in percentage.
In the round by round breakdown, Garcia threw 91 punches in the tenth to Broner’s 42. In round 11, Garcia threw 88 punches to Broner’s 29. In the final round, Garcia threw an incredible 115 punches to only 44 for Broner.
I know these are just punches thrown, but guess what folks? Some of those punches landed too.
How Broner won any of these rounds on the judge’s cards is a mystery.
Punches Landed/Thrown – PER ROUND
In the end, I guess it doesn’t matter as Mikey Garcia was introduced to the world. Some quotes from each fighter:
“This is definitely one of my best performances ever. I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up. [Broner] is a great fighter who has great skills. I was the superior fighter tonight.
“It was the timing, I’ve always said I have very good timing. It is underestimated when you are outside the ring but once you get inside the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”
“We trained for 10 weeks, we had a great training camp and great sparring. We knew it was going to be a tough fight so we had to be in great shape.”
“It was part of the strategy to be a little busier than the fights I have previously had.”
“Anybody that wants to come join us on SHOWTIME, give us a call, we are ready for anybody.”
“Maybe I’ll go down to 135, stay at 140 or go up to 147.”
“Thanks to everyone who came to see me lose and everyone who came to see me win.”
“I want to congratulate Mikey and his team.”
“It was a good fight. At the end of the day, I come to fight, I come to win and I put my heart on the line”
“It was Tom & Jerry, I had to catch the mouse.”
“At the end of the day I’m still AB, I’m still about billions, I’m still the “can man,” if he wants to rematch in California, we can do it.”
“At the end of the day I’m still a four-time world champion at four different weight classes and I’ll still be in the history books.”
“We knew Mikey would have to fight smart. He’s a tough guy who finishes very strong. We had to fight smart for the whole 12 rounds.”
“Adrien followed Mikey around just a little bit too much. Mikey did really well. Adrien should have gone to the body earlier.”
I think Broner is as delusional as his trainer. For Stafford to suggest Adrien followed Mikey around much, let alone at all is a joke. For Broner to use the Tom and Jerry reference, and then follow it up with his historical comments pretty much let’s us know his sense of entitlement is intact.
Garcia has many places he can go. He can drop back to 135 against a Vasyl Lomachenko or a Jorge Linares or even Broner’s pal Robert Easter Jr.
For Broner, it’s much more complicated. He was always carefully matched, but now extra caution needs to be taken. I don’t think he can beat a Thurman, a Spence Jr, or even a Danny Garcia.
I don’t think his chances are good against Terence Crawford. I’m not sure he can even beat a Rances Barthelemy or a Felix Diaz Jr. Sergey Lipinets needs to step up, but he has a potential title shot. Remember when back in the day we wanted Broner to go to the UK to face Ricky Burns? Even though we thought Broner could take him in the lighter weight class, does today’s shopworn Burns push Broner to the limit?
It’ll be interesting to see.
In the co-feature, Jermall Charlo, (26-0, 20 KOs) won his middleweight debut in dominant fashion over Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-5-2, 16 KOs). Heiland was clearly hurt from the start and the mercy stoppage came by TKO at 2:13 of the fourth round.
Charlo looked strong and ready for the next challenge at 160, despite the Vernon Forrest, Ray Leonard, and Tommy Hearns comments. I’d recommend a couple more fights at 160 before a potential Triple G showdown.