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Ward: Broner vs. Garcia is 50-50 fight

Image: Ward: Broner vs. Garcia is 50-50 fight

By Allan Fox: Light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward rates the July 29th fight between former 4-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) and lightweight Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) as a “50-50” affair that can go either way. Broner-Garcia will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing.

The venue for the Broner vs. Garcia fight hasn’t been decided yet, but it’s being talked about taking place in New York.

Like a lot of boxing fans, Ward, 33, thinks Broner needs to buckle down with his pro career so that he can get the most out of it. Broner hasn’t always been in the best shape for some of his fights in the last 4 years, and he’s had problems outside of the ring. It almost seems as if Broner isn’t totally committed to boxing any longer at this point in his career.

Whether it’s boredom or what, Broner doesn’t seem to have the love for the sport that he needs to for him to excel. It was all so easy for Broner from 2008 to the early part of 2013, but it’s been downhill for him ever since. Broner has suffered losses to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. Broner has had a couple of controversial wins during that time frame to Paulie Malignaggi and Adrian Granados in fights that easily could have been defeats for Broner. His record could be 31-4 instead of 33-2.

Broner has gotten lucky, but luck can only take you so far. Broner won’t continue to be lucky when it comes to the judges scoring for his fights, especially in his next one against Mikey Garcia. He has a way of taking the judges out of the equation. If Broner isn’t at his best on July 29, Mikey is going to knock him out and embarrass him in front of the entire world.

“I don’t know Broner’s situation,” said Ward to Fighthype. “I want the best for Adrien Broner, because we have a window. It means you’re on the clock. You’re not going to last forever. That’s No.1. No.2, you’ve been blessed with a gift, and what are you doing with it? Am I giving everything I have? You’ve got a gift. He’s got a lot left still,” said Ward about Broner.

Broner is all over the place when not inside the ring. At one time, it looked like Broner wanted to be a rap star. He’s doing a lot of different things when not fighting. Broner tends to put on a lot of weight between fights, and that’s not good because it forces him to have to drop a lot of weight to get down to his fighting weight. A fighter can only cut weight for a certain period of time before they change their bodies’ set weight.

Broner might have already done that to himself by eating his way out of the 140 pound division. Broner is only 27, and he hasn’t been able to make the light welterweight limit for the past 2 years since 2015. Broner will need to make the 140 lb. limit for his fight against Mikey Garcia, because that’s the weight the fight will be taking place.

Suffice it to say, Broner isn’t going to be able to make a deal with Mikey to have the weight pushed to 147 like he did with his last opponent Adrian Granados last February. Broner also likely won’t be able to have the fight only for 10 rounds like with his last one against Granados. Mikey is going to want the fight to be for 12 rounds, because that favors him. Mikey doesn’t have a hard time making weight for his fights. It’ll be even easier for Mikey in going up 5 pounds from 135 to fight Broner at 140. The only one that will be potentially hurt in this fight is Broner, not Mikey.

“He’s young. But if there’s ever a time to start making some adjustments, make them,” said Ward. ”Do what you got to do. Make the tough decisions and sacrifice so you can have the rest of your life comfortable, and you can be comfortable with your kids. None of us want to be in the ring trying to get a paycheck past our prime. This game is hard in your prime, much less when you’re past your prime when you’re fighting young guys that still got it. Understand, it’s an unforgiving business. When you’re done, you’re done to the next, and that’s the reality of the sport. When the window is closed, it’s closed. I think Adrien is a lot smarter than people give him credit. I don’t like to hear about his car getting shot up. I don’t like to hear about stuff like that. I want him nothing but the best,” said Ward.

I think Broner’s window has already closed at this point in his 9-year pro career. If Broner can’t cut back down to 140 and stay there on a consistent basis, he’s going nowhere at 147. Broner isn’t fast enough and lacks the size and punching power to beat the best fighters at 147. Shawn Porter had an easy time beating Broner in 2015. That wasn’t a fluke loss for Broner. He wasn’t good enough to compete with Porter, and it would have been a lot worse than him suffering a decision loss if he hadn’t spent the entire fight holding.

Even at 140, I don’t think Broner is good enough to dominate that division. Granados showed how limited Broner is in their fight earlier this year. If Broner had to fight someone better than Granados, he would be in trouble. Broner would likely lose to Terence Crawford, Viktor Postol, and Julius Indongo.

Broner would be better off melting down to 135 and going after guys like Terry Flanagan, Jorge Linares and Robert Easter Jr. That would be a good weight class for Broner. If Broner could still make 130, he would be even better. He could fight the likes of Gervonta Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, Miguel Berchelt and Jezreel Corrales. Those would be some big fights for Broner. There are more fights for Broner at super featherweight than there is at 140.

“This is a good fight for him,” said Ward about Broner’s July 29 fight against Mikey Garcia in New York. “This is a great fight for the making. The winner goes on to bigger and better things. This is a big moment for both of these guys. It’s 50-50. There’s nothing wrong with that,” said Ward.

Personally, I think Mikey Garcia is a BAD fight for Broner. Mikey hits really hard, he’s fast and above all, he has excellent boxing skills. Mikey stays in shape between fights. He’s not going to be trying to lose 20 pounds of fat to make 140. Mikey makes that weight in his sleep. It’ll be too easy for him.

When I first learned of the news that Broner was fighting Garcia, I thought Broner was making a big mistake with his career. I still think it’s a mistake for Broner, especially in seeing how excited Mikey is for the fight. Mikey is working out and he already looks like he’s in fighting shape. In looking at recent video of Broner, he needs to drop weight because he’s still heavy.

Broner needs to listen to Ward, and start getting serious about his boxing career. Broner has a small window to succeed, and he’s going to end up throwing it away if he doesn’t start dedicating himself to his craft.

Ward has lost a lot of time with his own boxing career with him not fighting regularly since 2011. Ward recently started fighting again, and he’s not the same guy that he used to be 6 years ago. Ward will be fighting a rematch against Sergey Kovalev on June 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. If Ward loses that fight, he’s going to have to make some heavy decisions about his boxing career. Ward will have a hard time beating WBC champion Adonsi Stevenson. He can clinch his way ton a victory against him like he did against Kovalev last November.

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