Showtime results: Mikey Garcia decisions Adrien Broner
Mikey Garcia notched the biggest win of his career on Saturday night with a convincing unanimous decision over Adrien Broner at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The junior welterweight contest was the main event of a Showtime telecast and while there was no official title on the line, the performance itself earned the same amount of respect.
Garcia, 37-0 (30), the current WBC lightweight titleholder, moved up in weight to challenge Broner but that wouldn’t have been apparent to the casual viewer. After an opening round dominated by feints, the two counterpunchers had a tough time getting any rhythm early on but Garcia was the first to assert himself by putting together some three-punch combinations off the jab. With hooks around Broner’s guard, Garcia was sure to end the precise flurries with body shots and, soon enough, opportunity presented itself. In the third, Garcia landed a big left hand to Broner’s chin and had him reeling for a slight moment. It may have been the biggest punch of the fight and Broner reacted to it by relying on his feet more going into the middle rounds. To put it simply, Garcia was acting as though he were the bigger man.
Broner, 33-3 (24), shook his head for most of the clean shots Garcia landed and was never seriously hurt in the fight but, too often, he found himself trapped against the ropes or behind his shell, once Garcia was able to cut the ring off. With his reluctance to throw back, Broner wasn’t able to show off the hand speed advantage everyone believed he had and Garcia was seemingly allowed to do whatever he pleased midway through. Garcia, who is anything but his brash counterpart, even put his hands down while stalking Broner in a moment that signified his control. Broner’s performance was subpar after eight rounds and it conjured a scolding from his longtime trainer Mike Stafford soon after, while on the stool.
Stafford may have gotten to Broner as the 28-year-old responded with a ninth round that involved more offense and, perhaps more importantly, an inspired effort. Broner’s hand speed was finally beginning to show and it gave Garcia something to think about, with a power right hand that eventually bloodied his nose a bit. The intensity of the fight rose once the two started to get in some heated exchanges through the 10th. Broner was still technically in the fight but, seemingly way down on points, he needed the knockout in the championship rounds. Not only did Garcia not let that happen but the 29-year-old went on to end the fight on a higher note and prevent any intrigue regarding who won, according to the official judges at ringside.
Two scores of 116-112 and a lone card of 117-111 were the scores for Garcia and those were arguably favorable to Broner. There was no question about who was the better fighter on this night and even Broner admitted that in the post-fight interview. The match was drawn up to be an intriguing one between two big names hovering around the same weight class but it didn’t exactly live up to the hype it created and will ultimately be a one-off. Before one points the finger at Broner’s performance for its lack of thrills, maybe Garcia’s dominance should be blamed. Surely he’d accept that but this wasn’t a case of who was better on this evening. This was a testament to fundamentals, discipline and assertiveness: Something Garcia has and has always had over Broner, in hindsight.
“I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up,” Garcia said afterward. “Broner is a great fighter and he has great skills but I was the superior fighter tonight. It was my timing. I’ve always said I have very good timing. It is underestimated when you are outside the ring but, once you get inside the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”
In the co-feature, Jermall Charlo easily wiped out Jorge Sebastian Heiland within four rounds to win a WBC middleweight title eliminator and, although the former IBF junior middleweight titleholder looked impressive in his debut at 160 pounds, there was a glaring issue with his opponent.
It took no less than the first minute to figure out there was something wrong with the Argentinean contender. With Charlo pumping a strong, accurate left jab out of the gate, Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), was getting slightly buckled by the shots but, once moving around the ring more, there was something clearly wrong with the 30-year-old’s legs. It seemed as though the southpaw could plant his left leg and nothing was more apparent of that when, in the second round, his bad footing helped spur a knockdown, after eating an uppercut.
Charlo, 26-0 (20), soon implemented a power right hand and couldn’t miss if he tried. The Houston, Texas native was patient, yet assertive in his attack, and, with a helpless opponent in front of him, a highlight reel knockout seemed inevitable. The New York State Athletic Commission knew there was something up with Heiland and, before the third and fourth rounds started, they saw it fit to check him out. Heiland maintained he was good to go but his performance was a clue to otherwise. In the fourth, a left from Charlo stunned Heiland into a flop backward for the knockdown and once getting up, his legs gave way again, forcing referee Benjy Esteves Jr. to catch him on the ropes. That’s where things ended at the 2:13 mark.
“I turned my left knee in the first round but I did not want to give up,” said Heiland after the fight. It was later reported that the Argentine was forced to remove a bandage on his knee just before the fight the NYSAC. “I tried to give it my all but it was not my night. I had bad luck but I am going to work harder than ever to get back and get another opportunity to achieve my dream and win a world title.”
“I’m ready for anyone. I’m ready for whoever wants to fight me,” Charlo said after his middleweight debut. “Bring on the biggest names at 160. I’m the real Tommy Hearns. I feel it’s my turn and I’m going to go get it.”
Charlo now holds the mandatory position for the WBC middleweight title, a belt held by unified champion Gennady Golovkin, who fights Canelo Alvarez on September 16. That doesn’t exactly mean Charlo is in line to face the winner, however, as it was announced that Canelo will not fight for that title. Only one thing is for sure: Whomever has to face Charlo has his hands full.