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Broner vs. Garcia: Can Adrien win?

Image: Broner vs. Garcia: Can Adrien win?

By Jeff Aranow: This Saturday night, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) will be taking the biggest fight of his 9-year pro career against unbeaten Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) on July 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The reason why this fight is more important for the 27-year-old Broner than his past fights are because his career is no longer on solid footing like it once was.

After defeats against Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter, and a controversial win over Adrian Granados, Broner can no longer absorb defeats without it impacting his boxing career in terms of his popularity with fans. Broner lost a lot of fans in his defeats against Porter and Maidana.

Broner can’t let himself lose more fans by having them jump ship if he gets beaten by the 29-year-old Garcia on Saturday night. What’s bad about Broner facing Mikey Garcia is there’s a strong chance that Broner could end up getting knocked out in an embarrassing fashion in this fight. Mikey just finished destroying a very good fighter in Dejan Zlaticanin in stopping him in 3 rounds on January 28 of this year. Garcia knocked Zlaticanin clean out with a tremendous shot to the head. You hate to say it, but that could be Broner’s fate this Saturday night. Zlaticanin came into the fight with Garcia never having been knocked down during his career or badly hurt. Zlaticanin was a guy with a good chin who could take shots without getting hurt. Garcia went through Zlaticanin like sliced cheese. It was too easy for Garcia, and it shouldn’t have been. The fight showed how powerful and how talented Garcia is. Broner is now in the same position that Zlaticanin was in when he took the fight, and that’s potentially sad news for Broner.

If Broner is going to defeat Garcia on Saturday, he’s going to need to be smart in the ring for a change. That means Broner cannot let Garcia touch him with his power shots the way that he allowed Granados to land. Broner was hit far too much by Granados, and that was a fight that was telegraphing everything he threw in the fight. There was no mystery what Granados was trying to do in the ring against Broner. He was pressuring Broner the same way that Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana did, and he was having lots of success doing that.

Broner showed zero improvement from his defeats at the hands of Maidana and Porter. He was still the same fighter. Garcia doesn’t fight like Maidana, Porter or Granados. He’s more of a boxer/puncher type of fighter, who looks to take advantage of his opponents’ aggression by countering them with enormous power shots. Broner is not going to be able to get off easy by not throwing punches and trying to play it safe on Saturday night.

Garcia has been working a lot on taking the fight to Broner by being the aggressor if he must. If Broner is going to lean back against the ropes and use the Mayweather shoulder roll defense, he’s going to have to deal with a lot of incoming fire from Garcia. It may not be the steady avalanche of punches that Broner took in his fights with Granados, Maidana and Porter, but he’ll still be getting hit with a lot of heavy shots. Garcia is more of a sharp shooter with his punches. He doesn’t throw a lot of shots, but he makes them count by landing perfectly placed punches with tremendous power. Broner is going to need to have a stiff set of whiskers for him to be able to take Garcia’s punches in this fight.

It would be in Broner’s best interest to use his jab and try and come forward against Garcia. Orlando Salido had a small measure of success in pressuring Garcia in the 7th and 8th rounds of their fight four years ago. Salido still lost badly but he did land some shots in the fight by putting the heat on Garcia.

Just standing stationary is probably going to be a real disaster for Broner. He can’t do that against Garcia and hope to get out of the fight on his feet. If you stand in front of Garcia, you’re going to get hammered. Broner will need to move his feet, and be smart in the ring to avoid the big shots. Mikey needs to have his feet planted for him to get the most power on his punches. He’s not the same fighter when he’s throwing shots on the move than he is when he can load up on his immense power shots against a guy that is right there in front of him.

This fight could end badly for Broner. He’s got to realize it by now that there is the potential for him to be knocked out in the same way Zlaticanin was. That would be a terrible blow to Broner’s career. He still fancies himself as a future PPV star in boxing.

It’s almost academic at this point that Broner WILL NOT become a PPV attraction during his career. If Broner gets knocked out badly by Garcia on Saturday, then it’s pretty much over with for Broner. To be sure, Broner might be able to pick up the pieces from a bad knockout defeat at the hands of Garcia and later win another world title at 140 after Terence Crawford leaves the division, but it’s not likely that Broner will be able to win back the boxing fans that he loses from a knockout loss to Garcia.

Broner needs to try his best to knockout Garcia early on Saturday night, because he cannot let the fight go into the second half. Broner will take too much punishment from Garcia if in a long drawn out affair that goes into the second half. Broner will likely be too punch drunk for him to get a knockout win over Garcia if he waits until the later rounds to try and get him out of there. Broner has done the best job in his career in getting knockouts when he’s gone after his opponents right away in the first 4 rounds. He’s done well with launching his attacks early. That would be his best hope of stopping Garcia.

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