Like many who love and watch boxing regularly, I was really looking forward to the Showtime card this past Saturday, highlighted by the Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados main event.
I became a fan of Granados when he completely flipped the script on Amir Imam and his seemingly upward trajectory through the boxing ranks. I loved how he reacted to getting knocked down early and had a warrior mentality in the ring and was ready to trade with Imam.
Broner had faced a fighter like that before in Marcos Maidana in a fight in San Antonio I was in attendance for. At the time, Broner was a brash, loud-mouthed young fighter expecting to blow through the junior welterweight division. I honestly wasn’t the biggest fan of Broner then, but I’ve grown to respect his boxing acumen along with the raw, natural talent he has.
Broner has always been his own worse enemy, but I held out hope that he was sincere when he talked about rededicating himself to his craft, and I gave him credit for taking on Granados, who has been ducked over and over again since he demolished Imam.
But then the cracks in the foundation started to show. Broner changed the weight from 140 to 147, and the match was made for 10 rounds instead of 12. I always find it worrisome when a boxer talks about rededicating themselves, but then can’t cut the weight prior to the fight.
Before the bell even sounded to start the first round, I already had my doubts. What I watched for the next ten rounds pretty much confirmed most of them. The fight was a very close fight, but Broner held some considerable advantages that made an impact on the final score cards, aside from what I’ve already listed
Before the fight, Granados alluded to the fact that in Broner’s back yard and on his promotion card, he was going to have to knock Broner out in order to leave Ohio with a win. Aside from that, Granados was warned numerous time by the official throughout the fight, but Broner never received a single warning for holding. It was Khan-esque how much holding he got away with. Granados was still able to work through sometimes and get in some shots while he was bottled up, but if you want to limit an aggressive boxer, holding is one thing that will do it.
There was enough holding for a warning and multiple points to be deducted. I won’t go into a round-by-round analysis. I did that through our Twitter account on fight night, but I felt like Granados swept a majority of the early rounds, some of the middle rounds were split and Broner put a few rounds together at the end, but I wouldn’t call it a clean sweep of the latter part of the fight by any means.
On my scorecard, I had it a draw, and that was because I gave Broner a few rounds that were very close because his punches were a bit cleaner, likely a result of not being held.
As everyone knows by now, Broner’s hand was raised at the end of the fight. I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy the fight. I enjoyed the spirit of the fight and the battle, but it was also uglier than it had to be. Broner may have had the advantages to come away with the win, but giving him wins does nothing good for him. We are starting to see a trend where just eking out a win is enough, and that’s a waste of Broner’s talent.
It also left a sour taste in my mouth when he was questioned and immediately came up with an excuse. I can get frustrated with boxers, but ultimately I have a ton of respect for them. It takes a certain type of person to be able to step through those ropes, but if there’s one thing I hate hearing in an interview, it’s “I don’t like to give excuses but…”
That to me is like someone saying no offense before they say something they know will offend you – almost like saying “hey I said no offense so it makes it ok.” If you hate to give excuses, then don’t give excuses. You don’t get it both ways. I’m not going to question the man or say I don’t believe that he was injured, but don’t say you are not about giving excuses and proceed to do exactly that. Boxers who don’t like to give excuses don’t give excuses and it’s as simple as that. Yet when a boxer seriously injures themselves and stops the fight because they can’t continue, they are immediately labeled quitters.
I know I’m going on a bit of a tangent here, but I know of boxers who have broken hands or injured themselves and don’t try to use that as an excuse to make themselves look better or to try to discredit their opponent. I remember seeing an absolute war years ago between Omar Figueroa and Nihito Arakawa. Neither fighter wanted to discredit the other by bringing up injuries and they absolutely fought in a brutal match. Instead you saw a photo after the fact of both boxers in the hospital posing for a picture together.
In the end, Broner gets another W added on to his record, while Granados gets the L. Granados may continue to get ducked, but he is making a name for himself and should be in the conversation among some of the top junior welterweight and welterweight fighters.
Broner is really more of a fit at junior welterweight. Unlike when he was coming up as a lightweight, he isn’t be the most powerful or talented at 147 lbs. He won’t be at 140 either, but 147 is too far a jump up.
Broner is one of those fighters that will frustrate me until he starts fighting up to his potential. I’ve told people before that he is a very smart boxer, is athletic and naturally gifted, but then comes the big if…If he’s focused on the right things, if he puts aside all of the other distractions and if he remains committed. He has said the right things, but the action needs to follow. If he realizes that he will continue to be judged on his personality until what he does in the ring becomes a bigger part of who he is.
I look forward to seeing that Broner, but that wasn’t the AB I saw on Saturday, and everyone has a shelf life.