How much more can Broner accomplish?: Weekend Review
Adrien Broner: Broner recorded another solid victory when he narrowly outpointed Adrian Granados in an entertaining fight Saturday night in Cincinnati, Broner’s hometown. But it’s looking more and more as if Broner will never realize the potential he seemed to display early in his career.
He has won titles in four weight divisions but, somehow, doesn’t have a particularly strong resume. Who has he beaten? Daniel Ponce de Leon? Antonio DeMarco? Paulie Malignaggi? All good victories but none are defining. Broner lost clear decisions to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter, arguably his highest-profile opponents. And, based on what we saw on Saturday, I’m not sure how much he’ll accomplish at 147 pounds (assuming he stays there).
Broner (33-2, 24 knockouts) gave a pretty good performance after a 10-month layoff, scoring consistently with hard, accurate shots – as he typically does – even though the spirited Granados threw many more punches. He had to dig deep, though. The decision was split – 97-93, 96-94 for him, 97-93 for Granados. I had it 95-95, a draw. I have respect for Granados but I also expected more from Broner.
Maybe Broner was rusty. Maybe he did injure his hand in the first round, as he claimed afterward. Maybe he needs time to bounce back from personal turmoil. Maybe he needs to adjust to a new division, as he couldn’t hurt Granados. Or maybe he’s just not quite as good as we once thought he was.
Adrian Granados: Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs) has become one of boxing’s most sympathetic hard-luck stories.
The Chicago fighter has lost five decisions and not one was unanimous, meaning one judge in each fight had him winning or a draw. And four of those opponents were no slouches: Frankie Gomez, Felix Diaz, Brad Solomon and Broner. (The other loss came against Jose Fuentes in his second fight.) And, remarkably, both of his draws also were split decisions. That means he could be 25-0 if he had done just a little bit more in each of those fights.
OK, that’s a big “if” but it underscores the notion that Granados has a lot going for him. He proved that by handing hot prospect Amir Imam his first loss, an eighth-round knockout in November 2015. And I think he gave a strong showing against Broner, who couldn’t dissuade his hard-charging opponent from plowing forward.
Granados is a good boxer with an unusually strong will to win who typically outworks his opponents and has a good chin; he has never been stopped. You might beat him but, as Broner and the others learned, you’re going to pay a price for doing so. Plus, Granados’ fighting spirit makes him fun to watch, which will continue to endear him to the TV networks.
The best of Adrian Granados is yet to come.
Light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne is fortunate he didn’t suffer his first loss on the Broner-Granados card. The talented 2012 U.S. Olympian sent Thomas Williams Jr. to one knee with a stiff jab in the first round and then punched him in the head while he was there. Referee Kevin Miliner deducted a point and gave Williams five minutes to recover; the foul was so egregious, he would’ve been justified had he disqualified Browne. In the end, Browne (19-0, 14 KOs) put Williams (20-3, 14 KOs) down twice more and stopped him in the sixth round, preserving his perfect record. I’m not sure Williams ever fully recovered from the foul. All that aside, Browne, a gifted boxer, looked sharp. He wants to challenge Adonis Stevenson for the WBC title. He could give the longtime titleholder trouble. … Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) returned from a 16-month layoff to defeat David Avanesyan (22-2-1, 11 KOs) by a unanimous decision on the Broner-Granados card. I thought Peterson looked just OK but I think he has more to give at 33, even in a strong 147-pound division. We’ll see.