Championship belts are terrific. But the character of a fight is not dependent upon them, and a perfect example is Saturday’s junior welterweight bout between Mikey Garcia and Adrien Broner.
Garcia has won world titles in three weight classes and is undefeated at 36-0 with 30 knockouts. Broner has won world titles in four weight classes. He is not a likable guy, and, like Floyd Mayweather Jr. is someone people would love to see get beat down.
No championship belt on the line? No one will care when they square off at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).
“This fight is much bigger still than some of the world-title fights that me and Adrien have been part of and some of the title fights that are around the division,” said Garcia, of Moreno Valley via Oxnard. “So it is a very big and fun fight and it could definitely easily be seen as probably the biggest fight of both of our careers.”
Asked if this could be a defining fight for him sans a title on the line, Broner responded affirmatively.
“Yes,” said Broner, of Cincinnati. “He’s 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.”
Even though Garcia was off 2 1/2 years – from January 2014 to July 2016 – because of a contract dispute with former promoter Bob Arum, he is an incredible talent who is still improving at age 29.
In his most recent bout in January, Garcia knocked out Dejan Zlaticanin in scary fashion in the third round at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It was just Garcia’s second fight back following his layoff. It earned him the lightweight title, and showed just how much of a mean hombre he is in the ring, even though one would be hard-pressed to find a better man outside of it.
This will be a big moment for Garcia, not Broner.
Broner, who turned 28 on Friday, has had a fine career. But he is probably not as good as he was before he was decked twice in a 12-round loss to…