BROOKLYN — Mikey Garcia defeated Adrien Broner in a 12-round, unanimous decision Saturday night to bring home what Showtime dubbed as the “WBC Diamond Belt Super Lightweight Championship.” The “diamond belt” may just be a meaningless, dreamt-up prize, but with his victory over Broner, Garcia won much more than a shiny strap.
In his first fight at 140 pounds, Garcia handled Broner through 12 rounds of smart, aggressive boxing, boosting his record to 37-0 with 30 knockouts and proving to the world that he’s capable of fighting (and winning) with the best.
"This is definitely one of my best performances ever,” Garcia admitted. “I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up. [Broner] is a great fighter who has great skills. I was the superior fighter tonight.”
That is certainly true. Over all 12 rounds, Garcia was in control for nearly the entire fight, keeping Broner on the outside and forcing him to stay on the defensive almost all evening. With the exception of a couple spurts peppered in from Broner, Garcia had him right where he wanted him the whole time.
Broner looked skittish in the early rounds, moving well but rarely advancing on Garcia. While Broner danced along the ropes, Garcia levied a balanced attack, dispatching relentless combinations from head to body throughout the match.
After being handed his third loss, Broner—in what can only be described as a petulant, thinly-veiled attempt to save face—proclaimed defiantly to the crowd of over 12,000 at the Barclays Center, “At the end of the day I'm still A.B., I'm still about billions, I'm still the ‘can man.’ If he wants to rematch in California, we can do it."
His words were met with a deafening torrent of boos.
Not long ago, Broner was one of boxing’s fastest rising stars, stockpiling knockouts and world titles at a rapid pace, partying with the hottest rappers and displaying an outstanding affinity for trash talk and flashy style to boot. But his meteoric rise to fame came to an abrupt end when his fast lane lifestyle began to affect his performance in the ring. He was stripped of two titles after failing to make weight, lost two different bouts in an attempt to move up to the welterweight division and ran into serious legal and personal issues along the way.
Despite all of his personal and professional woes, Broner is an undeniable talent and after moving his camp to Colorado Springs earlier this year in order to avoid distraction in preparation for this fight, he appeared to be back in peak form.
As the fight stretched into the later rounds, Broner gradually chipped away at Garcia with thunderous shots to the body, but unfortunately for him it was too late. “Adrien followed Mikey around just a little bit too much,” explained Mike Safford, Broner’s longtime trainer. “Adrien should have gone to the body earlier."
Even after Broner decided to attack the body, Garcia weathered each of his blows and even responded with impressive counters of his own, splashing Broner with a few serious shots to the head in retort.
Critics have raised questions in the past about the quality of fights on Garcia’s resume, but a win over a big-name fighter like Broner at yet another weight class will certainly stand out moving forward.
"Anybody that wants to come join us on Showtime, give us a call,” Garcia offered. “We are ready for anybody."
The young fighter continues to prove himself as one of boxing’s brightest rising stars. After this victory over Broner, Garcia will likely look to parlay his success into more big-money mega-fights in the future against opponents such as Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn and others.