NO SHOCK IF ADRIAN GRANADOS UPSETS THE ODDS — Saturday’s bout between former multiple division title holder Adrien Broner 32-2 (24) and fringe contender Adrian Granados 18-4-2 (12) offers a multitude of conundrums. And that’s not even including how Broner couldn’t make the contract weight of 142 pounds and in order to keep the fight alive the weight was bumped up to 147.
Just when Broner promised to take boxing more seriously and act like a professional fighter, he didn’t let those that doubted him down and proved them right. Broner, who is a Floyd Mayweather wannabe, apparently didn’t pay attention to Floyd regarding the things that made Floyd special — such as never ballooning up in weight between fights and always keeping himself in supreme condition. One gets the impression that Broner fights because he’s pretty good at it – in contrast to the strong-willed Mayweather who was determined to achieve greatness and leave a great legacy.
Broner’s opponent Saturday night, Adrian Granados, used to be his sparring partner. According to both guys, they exchanged hurting each other when they sparred. I say don’t read much into that. I sparred a ton of world class contenders and champions in the gym on even terms who would’ve taken me apart in an actual fight. The thing that Adrien and Adrian share is that both have come up short when they stepped up in opposition. Broner is more skilled than the two fighters who beat him, Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. But they brought a stronger constitution with them on fight night. Maidana and Porter out-worked and out-toughed Broner and outpointed him conclusively.
Contrast that to Granados who gets a pass for losing in his second pro bout. The last two fighters to beat him by close decision, Felix Diaz and Brad Solomon, have only suffered one loss each and are a combined 45-2. Granados is a tough, energetic, aggressive fighter who applies a lot of pressure and has a terrific work-rate regarding his punch output. Granados gets a little too much credit for stopping undefeated but somewhat overrated Amir Imam two fights ago, but it’s still a solid win. Granted, Broner has more tools than Granados, but his lackadaisical approach to fighting and his unwillingness to bear down and train hard leaves a path to victory for Granados.
As skilled as Broner is — and make no mistake, he can be very explosive when he decides to get serious and cut loose – he’s just too complacent in the ring during large gaps of rounds as his bouts progress. When he’s firing and fighting like he has an interest in the outcome, most of his opponents need to defend while looking for a window to attack him back. Moreover, when they’re trying to stabilize the action while he’s firing, he can beat them to the punch. The issue is that he doesn’t do that enough. And Granados is the type of guy who can bridge the open gap and fill the hole of inactivity with his steady punch rate. In addition, if Granados can keep the pressure on, especially during the lulls when Broner is posing and showboating, he’ll force him to work and do things he doesn’t want to do, mainly punch in desperation to stem the tide. This seldom works because the fighter doing it cannot get much on his punches and it tires him out.
If Broner thinks he can con and jive his way to winning rounds against Granados, he could be in for a surprise. The thing that concerns me is that the fight is in Cincinnati, Adrien Broner’s hometown. The boxing community is still under the false impression that he is a special fighter. Couple that with his clown act, and Broner manages to keep himself relevant with boxing fans. His name makes for more anticipated fights down the road with name fighters like Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and maybe even Manny Pacquiao and that has to be considered.
Let’s be honest, Broner’s name paired with fighters on that level pique the interest much more than if you inserted Granados. I can’t help but think the judges are subconsciously aware of that. So if it’s close, Broner could be the benefactor of some home cooking. Conversely, if Granados wins, instead of getting high praise, it will be said he won because Broner is a waste of talent and doesn’t take fighting seriously — unless he destroys Broner and wins via an impressive stoppage, which is unlikely due to his limited ability.
Broner should beat Granados. But at 3/1, Adrian is a live underdog against Broner who couldn’t get down to the weight at which you would think he would be at his best. And if I wasn’t concerned about the fight being in Broner’s backyard, I’d like him a lot more.
Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com
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