A lot of questions were answered after this weekend’s long-awaited and much-hyped matchup between Mikey Garcia and Adrien Broner.
Does Garcia have what it takes to fight at super lightweight? The answer was apparently yes because he consistently outclassed Broner throughout their 12-round affair on Saturday. Garcia won the WBC super lightweight Diamond championship and immediately the world began to ponder what a matchup against current super lightweight kingpin Terence Crawford would look like.
But what about Broner?
The bigger question here is, with three losses during a boxing climate that treats a zero loss record like the holy grail to superstardom based on the Mayweather marketing machine, can Broner be in contention for a title again and is he still what we thought he was?
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For years it was thought that AB was his own biggest enemy. After becoming an undefeated four-weight class world champion in five years, his natural abilities and in-ring intelligence were the keys to his dominance.
His true breakout moment was when he became an internet and tabloid sensation in the buildup to his fight with Paulie Malignaggi. Broner became the brash, witty entertainer that boxing wanted in the shadow of Floyd Mayweather’s achievements. He seemed like the future, following a similar blueprint of in-your-face arrogance and playful disrespect of his opponent to create interest.
After embarrassing Malignaggi by exposing his philandering with his ex-girlfriend, Broner walked away with the split decision victory in the Barclays Center. Prior to that, he either finished the fight or won via unanimous or majority decision. Still, the same hype that propelled Broner began to derail him and he allowed the trappings of success, poor choices, and new endeavors to take him from the path he was on.
His next fight after Malignaggi was against Marcos Maidana, who came to the fight with three losses of his own over tough opponents like Devon Alexander and Amir Khan. Still, Maidana compiled a three fight win streak of all knockouts to challenge Broner for the WBA welterweight title he wrested from Malignaggi and was rewarded for his focus. Broner had embarked on a rap career with Maybach Music’s Rick Ross and went on tour leading to him becoming famously overweight.
FightHype.com was on hand at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York where lightweight champion Mikey Garcia kept his undefeated record intact, defeating multi-division former world champion Adrien Broner via unanimous decision. Check out the scene immediately after the fight as Broner shared his thoughts on the loss.
Now that Keith Thurman has effectively taken over the welterweight division and is now on hiatus, recovering from surgery and getting married in Nepal, Broner needs to decide where the titles lie. His fight against Garcia made sense, but a loss in the super lightweight division leaves him no closer to the payday he would receive against friend and super lightweight kingpin, Terence “Bud” Crawford.
Vasyl “High-Tech” Lomachenko is currently dominating the super featherweight ranks with Gervonta “Tank” Davis creeping up behind. Broner hasn’t fought in that weight class since 2012 when he beat Vicente Escobedo, so dropping down to 130 pounds doesn’t seem viable.
The lightweight division doesn’t look like a good resting place either. Robert Easter, Jr., a fighter on Broner’s About Billions Promotions and a member of his Band Camp training crew, is the current IBF lightweight champion and Garcia still holds his WBC belt there.
That leaves the super welterweight division and a weight increase to 154 lbs. There is currently a vacant belt in the World Boxing Organization and the championship competition are standouts like Demetrius Andrade, Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, and Erislandy Lara.
Having a force like promoter Al Haymon in his corner, if Broner could make a fight at that weight class for the vacant belt he could make another run in the game as a champion with top-tier competitors and names that would sell.
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However, Broner is naturally a smaller fighter and although his mentor Floyd Mayweather became a champion in the weight class and is taking on Conor McGregor currently at that weight, it would be a huge test for Broner, who it can be argued struggled even as a welterweight against top competition.
Still, with McGregor pursuing boxing it could be a great novelty fight after Mayweather to pair Broner with him for another epic trash talking hype fest that will be equally ignorant and entertaining. In fact, if the WBO could wait, Broner should fight McGregor next for the vacant title. Or Broner should fight someone else and if he secures the title, allow McGregor to challenge him for it for a big payday and stay of execution against the other champions in the division.
If Broner is truly “About Boxing” and wants some more longevity, he will think green and go Irish in his strategy.