Several years have passed since I last heard Adrien Broner face-to-face and nothing has changed.
He’s still a funny and honest guy.
Broner met his upcoming adversary Mikey Garcia at the Conga Room in downtown L.A. where the media was predominantly Latino on Tuesday afternoon. They will be meeting each other in the boxing ring on July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Showtime will televise.
The Cincinnati kid talked about everything under the bright summer sun including MMA, Maidana, Mayweather and money. He covered all the M’s including making weight. It’s something that could lead him to losing a lot of money next month.
But he insists that Garcia is facing the best fighter in his career and that is definitely true.
Like I mentioned before, Broner is very honest even if he tends to exaggerate a little.
Throughout his career he’s shown amazing resilience in absorbing shots from Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana inside the boxing ring and from law enforcement agencies outside.
He’s an enigma.
“I got to thank all of you in L.A. We still friendly,” said Broner, 27. “I’ve been through a lot of things in my life.”
In his last ring encounter the Cincinnati fighter engaged in an entertaining 10 round slugfest with Adrian Granados that ended in a split win for Broner. It was a lot closer than experts predicted.
But despite the hiccup, the former four-division world champion has defeated notable foes in John Molina, Paul Malignaggi, Carlos Molina, Antonio DeMarco, and Khabib Allakhverdiev in his career that began as a super featherweight.
Garcia, however, is a different matter altogether.
As the youngest of the fighting Garcias of Oxnard it has been Mikey who has captured world titles as a featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight. Though he’s of Mexican descent his style doesn’t fall into the two-for-two category.
“I’m more of a boxer-puncher,” said Garcia.
From older brothers Daniel and Robert to the newest version of the Garcia style it can all be traced to the father Eduardo Garcia. The family patriarch said he wanted his son Mikey to benefit from all of the experience the older brothers set down first. Though he preferred watching more entertaining Mexican style fights, that style always left damage.
Eduardo Garcia taught son Mikey a more elaborate boxer-puncher style that he first used with his other star fighter Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas. The now retired super welterweight champion had a similar boxer-puncher style that he used to defeat Ike Quartey, Yory Boy Campas and Winky Wright when those fighters were at the top of their game.
Mikey Garcia’s style may have been the reason his former promoter Top Rank never felt he was an attraction even in his native California. Though no one doubted his boxing talent they traipsed him to Texas, New York, Mexico and other parts.
When Garcia abandoned Top Rank’s offer and waited more than two years to return he left behind the best years of any athlete’s career. Now he’s 29 and knocking on the door to his 30s later this year. There’s no time to waste.
“I want the fans to be able to appreciate the sport of boxing. These are the kind of fights that fans will remember for years. This could be the Fight of the Year. We’re very even when it comes to our accolades and achievements,” said Garcia.
Garcia is a man on fire and seeks to run through the super lightweight division and welterweight division tout suite.
“I’m very happy to be here and get back in the ring. This is the kind of fight that I deserve and the kind of fight that will please the fans,” said Garcia.
No doubt about that.
Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza agrees.
“I’m here today because I know this will be a good fight. I know that neither guy will back down, they’re both going to give it their all and they’re going to bring out the best in each other,” Espinoza said.
Oddly the odds-makers have Garcia a 5-1 favorite over Broner.
“Five-to-one crap,” said Broner.
Promoter Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions feels the odds are far out of whack.
“On paper this is a 50-50 fight,” said Ellerbe. “I think both guys are fighting the best opponent in their career.”
Photo credit: Scott Hirano /SHOWTIME
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