Brooklyn Boro

Broner looking for Barclays redemption

Eager to Prove He is Still One of Boxing’s Best vs. Unbeaten Garcia

July 27, 2017 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A four-time world champion, Adrien Broner hopes to get his world-class status and swagger back Saturday night when he takes on unbeaten Mikey Garcia at Downtown’s Barclays Center. AP Photo by David Becker
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Adrien Broner has been on the other side of this matchup many times during his mercurial rise through the ranks of boxing.

The 27-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio native won his first 27 professional bouts, picked up four world titles along the way, and established himself as one of the brashest, boldest and most marketable young fighters on the circuit.

On that path to glory, he beat a long list of fighters considered to be a bit past their primes, or at least not quite up to par with his own formidable skills in the ring.

But this time around, Broner (33-2), who has tasted defeat twice over the past four years and seen his stock as the next big thing in boxing take a precipitous fall, is hoping to overcome the odds against unbeaten three-time world champion Mikey Garcia (36-0) Saturday night at Downtown’s Barclays Center.

“I’ve been to the lowest point of somebody at my level, and I’ve been to the highest point,” Broner admitted in the week leading up to the non-title headliner of the latest Brooklyn boxing card.

“It’s time to take boxing more seriously,” he added. “When you touched the type of money I’ve touched at a young age, man, you don’t know how to handle it. Like I said before, I’m older. I got experience in life.  I know what I want to do and that’s be the best Adrien Broner I can be.”

Broner was at his cocksure best here four summers ago when he called out, then outpointed our borough’s own two-time world champion, Bensonhurst’s Paulie Malignaggi, back in June of 2013, just a few months shy of his first-ever loss to Argentina’s Marcos Maidana. 

The Floyd Mayweather protege made headlines by sending a barrage of not-so-playful jabs at his opponent regarding a shared love interest in the days leading up to that fight.

Malignaggi held his own against the then-unbeaten Broner in the ring, narrowly losing his welterweight crown via a controversial split decision that raged on into the post-fight press conference, which nearly erupted into a brawl.

That was the type of fire Broner evoked from his opponents and the media during his rise to stardom. 

But now, the fighter best known as “The Problem” is simply looking for a big win in the ring, and re-establishing himself as one of the best pound-for-pound pugilists on the planet. 

His most recent loss, a 12-round defeat at the hands of Shawn Porter in Las Vegas in 2015, was his last truly notable fight, and one he wants to distance himself from Saturday night on the corners of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. 

“I just want to go out there and show the people, I am one of the top boxers for a reason,” Broner noted.

“I’m going to be victorious next week. [Garcia is] another star in boxing and he’s undefeated. Of course, it’s a hell of a fight for me and it’s definitely going to be a defining moment for Adrien Broner.”

There’s no doubting Garcia’s record is blemish-free.

He has won his first 36 fights as a professional, including 30 by way of knockout, and is eager to use Saturday’s SHOWTIME-televised bout as a launching point for his own international recognition.

But this is also the first time he has trained up from 135 to 140 pounds, a weight Broner remains undefeated at.

“I think we’re going to be very excited to see … I’m fighting 140 pounds for the first time especially against, you know, former world champion in Adrien Broner,” Garcia ceded.

“So I think it’s going to be another opportunity for me to show the fight fans and all of the media what I’m capable of doing.”

The 29-year-old California native also confessed that none of his previous 36 fights have come against someone with the savvy, and ring-generalship of Broner.

“Well, he’s the most accomplished fighter [I’ve met], four-division world champion,” said Garcia, who will be making his Barclays Center debut.

“So that makes it a bigger deal. Fans and the media are more excited about my fight with Adrien Broner, you know, than some of the other world-title fights around the category.”

“I’s a good fight for boxing,” Broner added. “You got two fighters who were both on pound-for-pound at one point at a time.  You know, I’m a four-time world champion.  He’s a three-time world champion in three weight classes.  I’m a four-time world champion of four different weight classes.  This is a big fight for boxing.  And if you’re a boxer, it’s going to be a hell of a fight, July 29.”

Ring Notes: Broner wasn’t too interested in discussing next month’s much-ballyhooed matchup between Mayweather and mixed-martial arts star Conor McGregor. “I don’t want to talk about that. That ain’t putting any money in my pocket,” Broner said. … The preliminary televised fight on Saturday night’s card is a showdown between unbeaten former champion Jermall Charlo and top contender Jorge Sebastian Heiland in a middleweight world title eliminator bout.

 


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