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Adrien Broner battles Mikey Garcia on July 29

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By Dan Ambrose: After weeks of speculation, the Adrien “The Problem” Broner vs. Mikey Garcia was announced on Thursday morning for July 29 on Showtime Championship Boxing. Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) will be facing the 29-year-old Garca at 140 pounds in a fight presented by Premier Boxing Champions. As of now, there no titles on the line for the Broner-Garcia fight.

Broner is just a content light welterweight, and no longer a world champion after he lost his WBA World 140b title last year when he failed to make weight for his title defense against Ashley Theophane on April 1, 2016. Broner won the fight by a 9th round TKO, but he was stripped of his WBA title on the scales when he came in over the 140 pound limit.

Broner vs. Garcia is a big enough fight for it not to need a world title in order to interest the boxing public. It’s a fight that is big enough to attract a lot of fans to want to tune in to see these two talented fighters. For Garcia, this fight puts him on the map in the 140 pound division so he can go after the likes of Terence “Bud” Crawford before moving up to 147 to take on Manny Pacquiao in a huge money fight.

Garcia is a star in the making. He needs Broner’s scalp to get him to the next level. For Broner, he’s in a do or die situation with his sinking pro career. Broner arguably lost his last fight against Adrian Granados last February in winning a controversial 10 round split decision. Broner was the A-side in the Granados fight, which is probably the only reason he was given the victory, because he clearly was beaten in that fight. At 27, the former 4-division world champion Broner has seen better days with his career.

Broner only has 2 defeats on his 9-year pro career in losses to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. You can throw in another loss to Adrian Granados, and I don’t think too many boxing fans would disagree with that.

“It seems like there is a lot of buzz,” said Mikey Garcia o Fighthype about the Broner fight. “People are excited to hear about it. It’ll be a great fight. I still plan at staying at lightweight. The reason we’re doing a Broner fight is because he himself is a smaller guy. Body size, yeah, he gains a lot of weight, but body structure, there’s not a lot of difference. He might be a little bigger, but not by much. I want to make sure I’m competitive enough to win the fight. He’s got talent, but sometimes he’s not in the best shape or mental state. He almost wastes some of that by not taking his career seriously. But he’s still exciting to watch. I like to see him. He’s definitely done a lot. He’s fought some big fights. He’s been around for a while. He’s accomplished a lot. He’s 4 division world champion for a reason,” said Garcia about Broner.

Garcia has recently revitalized his previously stalled boxing career with a 3rd round knockout win over WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin. It was only the second fight for Garcia since 2014. Garcia was out of action from January 2014 to July 2016 with promotional problems with his previous promoters at Top Rank.

Garcia lost 2 ½ years of his career. Garcia resumed his career on July 30 last year in stopping Elio Rojas in the 5th round in an impressive performance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Mikey looked like he’d never been away. His power, speed and boxing ability was extraordinary. Rojas never stood a chance. In his next fight against Zlaticanin, it was thought that Mikey would have problems with the big punching champion. Instead, Mikey quickly knocked Zlaticanin out in the 3rd round in making it look easy.

Broner will almost surely have the weight advantage over Garcia in this fight. Broner has been walking about in the 180s. He’ll likely slim down to the 160 region before dehydrating to get to the 140 pound limit for the fight. That brings the question of whether Broner will be able to make 140 pound weight for the fight. Without a stiff weight penalty, it’s hard to believe that Broner will be able to make the weight for the fight. It’s been 2 years since Broner made 140. He was over the 140lb limit for his last 2 fights against Ashley Theophane and Adrian Granados.

Technically, Broner didn’t miss the weight for his last fight against Granados, but that was only because he had the weight limit for the fight moved up from the originally planned weight of 140 pounds to 147 pounds when it became clear that Broner wasn’t going to be able to make the 140lb limit for the fight. The Broner-Granados fight was going to be for 12 rounds, but instead it turned out to be for 10 rounds. That move was thought to help Broner, because he would have struggled in a 12 round fight.

Trainer Robert Garcia says he’s been told that Mikey Garcia hits harder than Saul Canelo Alvarez. Garcia was told by one of the sparring partners who has sparred Canelo in the past.

“[Marcos] Maidana told me that Broner is the strongest guy he’s ever faced,” said Robert Garcia to Fighthype. “He told me that [Floyd] Mayweather is not even near as strong as Broner. Broner is very strong. One person that could tell you is Brandon Rios. He’s sparred both of them. Brandon told me that Mikey hits a lot harder [than Maidana]. I had a guy that sparred Mikey, and he said, ‘Robert, I sparred Canelo before and Mikey hits harder than Canelo.’ People are telling me. Brandon has said it. Brandon has sparred junior middleweights, and Brandon has said, Mikey hits harder than probably anyone that he’s ever faced. People don’t believe how hard Mikey can hit. I’m not saying it. It’s the people that are sparring that are saying it.” said Robert Garcia.

It’s interesting that Robert Garcia is saying that the 135 pound Mikey hits harder than Canelo, because there is likely 30-40 pounds weight difference between the two fighters. It’s good that Robert Garcia didn’t go so far as to say that Mikey hits harder than Gennady Golovkin. That would be hilarious. It’s hard enough to buy into Mikey supposedly hitting harder than Canelo Alvarez and Maidana. It’s good that Robert didn’t go over the deep end and start saying that Mikey has more power than Golovkin, because they need stop the cameras at that point and walk out. I don’t think for a second that Mikey hits harder than Canelo. That’s laughable. Maidana is also a harder hitter than Mikey. He’s just a much bigger fighter. Mikey hits hard for a lightweight, but he’s definitely not a bigger puncher than Maidana or Canelo.

It’s good that Mikey can hit hard, but where he could have problems is taking hard shots in return from Broner. That’s the thing that Robert isn’t thinking about. You can hit as hard as anything, but that doesn’t say anything about your ability to take a shot. Having seen Mikey fight Orlando Salido, he looked bothered by the shots from him, and that was a fight that took place at featherweight. Mikey was getting away with a lot of holding against Salido and pushing off with his lead left hand.

Throughout the fight, the referee let Mikey get away with holding his left hand far out in front of him like a stick and then using that hand to push Salido away to keep him from getting in close. The referee was supposed to warn Mikey from doing that, because it was clearly an illegal move. Salido eventually got tired of Mikey being able to bend the rules. In the 8th round, Salido clashed heads with Mikey, which resulted in Mikey suffering a broken nose. The fight was then stopped.

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