Saturday Night Boxing: Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner

Two multiple-division champions square off this Saturday at the Barclays Center. Who will come out on top?

Boxing in 2017 has been swarming with juicy, sizzling and enthralling matchups all year long.  The fun is scheduled to continue Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

We have a pretty cool junior welterweight fight on our hands this weekend featuring three-time division world champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) going up against the boisterous former four-time division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-2, 24 KOs).

Garcia is currently the WBC lightweight champion but is making the jump to 140 pounds to take on “The Problem.” Broner, on the other hand, has fought fighters at the junior welterweight level before—he even won a title at that weight—but he has never fought above 138 pounds.

Broner is expected to make the full 140-pound limit for this fight, despite missing the weight limit in a recent fight in April 2016 against Ashley Theophane.

Note: The World Boxing Council (WBC) announced last week that the WBC Diamond title will be on the line for both fighters.

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In their most recent fights, Broner won a competitive split decision in February over Adrian Granados (I actually thought Granados won the fight), which was at a catchweight of 142 pounds.

Meanwhile, Garcia cold-cocked Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round of their 135-pound title fight in January to take away the WBC lightweight belt from his counterpart.

Both guys are young and still in the heart of their primes, although Garcia is the fighter coming in as the favorite and in better form. After an almost two-year layoff, Garcia has looked nothing more than sensational in his two fights back.

As for Broner, he looked sloppy and unimpressive in his last couple of fights that resulted in two losses to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. He didn’t look much better in a hard fought, suspect win over Granados, where the decision could have easily gone the other way.

Broner has all the talent in the world. Boxing pundits know that if his head is on straight (a big question mark) and he’s in proper shape on the day of the fight, he’s capable of beating anyone at 135 pounds and at 140—except for the bonafide No. 1 junior welterweight in the world, Terence Crawford.

However, “The Problem” is going to have a big problem dealing with the power that Garcia will bring into the ring Saturday. Broner’s chin had better be ready.

Another element that intrigues me in this fight is whether Garcia will feel as strong at 140 and if his power will hold up at that weight. Fighters tend to lose some power when they move up in weight. It will be interesting to see if that applies for Garcia.

I don’t think it will it will affect him. Garcia is such a smart, patient fighter that I believe he will find his range early in the fight and as it prolongs into the middle-to-late rounds, Garcia will insert himself even more where his punching ability will take over.

Broner’s defense and movement will be an important factor for him because if he stands right in front of Garcia or in the middle of the ring and tries to constantly exchange with the lightweight champion, I don’t think he will win the bulk of those battles.

He might win some exchanges and tag Garcia a couple of times, but that quality favors Garcia more.

Broner will need to stay active with his jab and two-three punch combinations but not get too overanxious and wild because Garcia will make him pay with his precise counter punches.

As the underdog, Broner has plenty to prove and he wants to show he can still be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world like he was five years ago. While he’s capable of beating Garcia, I feel that Mikey will be too technically sound for Adrien.

He’s got more tools in his bag and he’s on the verge of inserting himself as one of the elite fighters in the sport once again. I think he makes a bold statement to the boxing community on Saturday.

Prediction: Garcia wins in an exciting, well-fought 12-round unanimous decision.

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