Adrien Broner has found his ceiling
Before his crunch super-lightweight clash with Mikey Garcia at the weekend, Adrien Broner seemed to be doing and saying the right things. There was an edge to him, as if he knew the challenge ahead of him and was ready to meet it face-on. He had whipped himself into decent shape and comfortably made the weight, despite doubts that he would. He balked at the long odds offered for him to prevail and vowed to upset them.
Ultimately he didn’t, because he couldn’t. There was speculation over which Broner would turn up on fight night, but in the end it didn’t really matter as none of them were good enough. The Cincinnati native has shown tantalising promise in the past; he dazzled us with skill and, at times, stunned us with his killer instinct. It now seems that he was perhaps overestimated – though that is not to diminish his achievements; he’s won numerous world titles and earned a lot of money.
Against Garcia though, we were truly shown his limits. He wasn’t bullied by naturally bigger men like Marcos Maidana or Shawn Porter, but he was systematically broken down by a superior boxer. No one has beaten ‘The Problem’ as emphatically as Garcia did.
The sky is the limit for Mikey Garcia
With all that being said, Broner did not underperform and is not an average fighter, he just came up against an exceptional one. Garcia, a three-weight world champion, spent two years on the sidelines due to promotional disputes but now looks better than ever.
He wrecked Dejan Zlaticanin at lightweight and picked Broner apart at super-lightweight, the highest he has gone thus far in his career. He looked imposing, strong and comfortable at 140lbs. He’s spoken of his desire to return to lightweight and fight the likes of Jorge Linares – who meets Luke Campbell in September – but the Oxnard, California man now has options at a fourth weight.
He was clipped a few times by Broner in their contest, but at no point did he look in trouble nor did he cede control after the first few rounds. Any major limitations he may hold have still not been exposed, not even against world-level fighters, so the future for Garcia looks huge.
Be careful when you shower
In Belfast, Carl Frampton’s featherweight fight with Andres Gutierrez was cancelled at a day’s notice when the Mexican slipped in the shower and badly injured himself.
First off, it serves as a cautionary tale of the safety hazards of showers, but it also highlights how catastrophic a bit of bad luck can be in this game. Gutierrez missed out on not only a chance to become WBC mandatory, but also the opportunity to make a name for himself if he did somehow spring an upset over Frampton.
The fans who bought tickets missed out on seeing hometown hero Frampton make his eagerly anticipated return. Cyclone Promotions will have suffered due to the cancellation and are working on rescheduling the fight.
But think of the fighters – they’ve spent months toiling away in the gym, sacrificing a lot and mentally preparing themselves for battle only to be told at the last minute that they can’t go out and do what they do best.
One last note on this show about Frampton’s weight. He came in a pound over the 126lb limit and later said that he just could not shift the extra weight. In that situation, when a fighter knows he’s done all he can to boil himself down, it would be dangerous to try and lose it in such a short space of time and Frampton made the right call. He and his team will know what went wrong and will likely remedy it. Anyone questioning his professionalism should consider the months he spends away from his family – who he admits are more important to him than boxing – during training camp so he can provide for them.
Sometimes, belts don’t matter
Conflicting reports emerged from either side of the mouth-watering Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez fight in September regarding what world titles will be on the line. Golovkin owns the WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight belts but it appears Canelo will not pay the WBC’s sanctioning fee.
However, Golovkin’s team insist the unbeaten Kazakh will carry all his belts into the ring. In this instance, it really doesn’t matter. Golovkin-Canelo is a fight bigger than titles and there is no doubt that the winner will be the best middleweight in the world and arguably the best fighter, pound-for-pound, on the planet. Yes, it could be a problem if the belts become fragmented but when the best fight the best, trinkets become obsolete.
Going it alone does not always work out
Some fighters have struck out on their own and it has paid off in a huge way. Floyd Mayweather is a perfect example, and there are countless top fighters who have developed their own promotional companies. Two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming recently did the same, and it horrendously backfired.
His first card took place in Shanghai on Friday and he was defending his WBO flyweight title in the main event against heavy underdog Sho Kimura. Shiming was walked down and stopped in the 11th round. According to Chinese media he also trained himself for the fight, further proving that it’s rarely a good idea to do everything on your own.