With all the hoopla and intense media hype surrounding the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight next month, upcoming bouts that merit attention fly below the radar of the casual boxing fan’s interest.
The Mikey Garcia-Adrien Broner super-lightweight fight Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York, defines such a match. Between them, Garcia and Broner have won a combined seven world titles. During the buildup to Saturday’s bout, there is a welcomed absence of the freak show atmosphere provided by Mayweather and McGregor.
True, Broner developed a Mayweather-like flamboyant persona during his run to world titles in four separate weight classes and has displayed repeated acts of vulgarity in attempting to promote his bouts. Moreover, his encounters with the law could have signaled the end of Broner’s stay as a top-tier fighter.
But Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) has changed his tune for the Garcia match. Although still outwardly confident about his chances of winning, Broner reduced and modified the decibel level.
“I’ve been in some crazy situations, and I’m blessed to be here,” Broner said. “To get a fight like this is huge.
“This can take our careers to the next level. I’m taking this seriously.”
Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) spent two years away from the ring because of a contractual conflict with his previous promoter. But Garcia far from displayed ring rust in his two comeback bouts. Not surprisingly, Garcia quickly resurfaced on the current pound-for-pound, best-fighter’s lists.
“I can’t stress the importance of this fight enough,” Garcia said. “It’s the biggest fight that I could have. There are other names that are out there, but nothing made more sense than facing Adrien Broner.
“Adrien is going come to beat me, and I’m coming 100 percent to beat him. The fans will be the winner on fight night, but my hand will be raised.”
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Fighting under the Premier Boxing Champions stable overseen by influential manager Al Haymon, Broner and Garcia serve as another example of the intriguing matches presented by the company the past year.
In fact, Broner appeared in one of the previous bouts, when he lost a hard-fought decision against Shawn Porter. Other recent Premier Boxing fights that received positive response were Porter-Keith Thurman, Thurman’s match against Danny Garcia and the two featherweight title fights between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton.
“I love this fight, this is why we do this job,” said Lou DiBella, promoter of Saturday’s fight. “We want to make sensational fights like this for the fans to enjoy.”
AROUND THE RING
▪ Aventura resident and light-heavyweight prospect Ahmed Elbiali remained unbeaten following his second-round TKO over Christopher Brooker July 18 in Alexandria, Louisiana.
A Krop High School graduate, Elbiali, 26, is now 16-0 with 13 knockouts.
▪ Miami resident Sullivan Barrera overcame a first-round knockdown and won a convincing unanimous decision over Joe Smith Jr. on July 15 in Inglewood, California. Barrera (20-1) won the light-heavyweight bout on all three judges’ scorecards, 97-92 (twice) and 96-93.
▪ After he joined Premier Boxing Champions late last year, Miami heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz improved his opportunity at facing the company’s signature heavyweight, World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder. For Ortiz, the possibility of facing Wilder now looks closer.
According to reports last week, negotiations are ongoing for Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) to make the next defense of his title against Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC) in November.
Friday (11:30 p.m., Telemundo-Ch. 51): David Carmona vs. Jose Martinez, 10, junior bantamweights.
Saturday (9 p.m., Showtime): Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner, 12, super lightweights.