Jamel Herring analyzes Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia matchup
Adrien Broner might not be in a “must-win” situation regarding his Saturday Barclays Center clash against Mikey Garcia, which will screen on Showtime, but it’s something close to that.
I won’t go all in and say “must win,” and attach that red alert level of import to the bout if for no other reason than Broner is “only” 27. It is tempting to play up the importance of him beating Garcia, but this is boxing and this is life, and in both spheres we the press people often play up the import and sensationalize issues. Say Broner loses, but narrowly, and puts it all together, save getting the “W.” Then he could actually upgrade his rep off a loss…So, “must win,” nah…But close to that? Yes.
And why is that?
Because he has been, it looks like, all in during camp. He’s been ditching the “AB” party persona. He’s recognized the talent level of Garcia and isn’t being cocky, thinking he can coast in training, to an extent, and still get that win. He knows he has to be fully present, in training, mentally as well as physically, to win. So, if he gives this best effort, in training, and that isn’t enough to get him a “W,” then the blow to his ego could be quite substantial. It’s why many of us don’t take on stiffer challenges in life. We subconsciously fear trying our best, and then being showed that our best isn’t good enough.
I reached out to a boxer who is a keen analyst and in fact has seen this version of AB up close, Long Islander Jamel Herring, a 16-1 lightweight. The Fighting Marine went to Colorado Springs and worked in that Broner camp.
“Broner has been in Colorado Springs for close to two months now. I came a little bit afterwards since my fight date was originally changed and I was then hired to work with Terence Crawford as one of his sparring partners. Broner wins if he executes his game plan,” the 31-year-old signed to Al Haymon said.
“I don’t believe he’ll lose on the scale or that Mikey Garcia is the better fighter. I truly believe Broner can only lose if he doesn’t carry out what he’s been working on all camp. From my observation I see the power, and speed, even at this time and period where he’s cutting weight. I think this fight will truthfully answer a lot of questions for both men overall.”
So many of those questions for Broner have to do with his brain and thinking, not the skill set. How much of boxing, to him, is mental…and how much for Broner is this a mental game?
“I was told 80% is mental coming up,” Herring said. “I know it’s been hard to back Broner due to his mentality in the past and list of actions but I really have faith in him going into this fight. I think what drove him this time around was the odds he was placed under for winning this fight. That left a chip on his shoulder and he fully committed himself to strictly training, which is why he came out here to Colorado Springs.”
So what is Herring thinking… is AB a 55-45 favorite in his mind?
“No, I actually call it down the middle. They’re both really good fighters. I just truly believe whoever sticks to their game plan can take the W. The first five rounds will be interesting in terms of who gets the edge first. You know they’ll feel each other out the first round but I believe by the second they’ll both know what they’re working with. The start of the fight is definitely more crucial, that’s why I said the first five rounds in my opinion will be interesting. I’ve always liked Mikey and I know he wants to make a statement so it’s going to be interesting.”
By the way, Herring next gloves up August 22, against Ladarius Miller in Las Vegas. “I’ve been sparring both Terence Crawford and silver Olympic medalist Shakur Stevenson to help me prepare for this fight,” he reports.
And back to the July 29 tango… is there one area in which Broner and Mikey clearly has the edge on the other?
“Mikey will be the smaller man by fight night without a doubt. I believe he may take a bit from the Granados approach which is using his feet and boxing at times. I don’t think it would be wise to stand in front of Adrien and turn it into a brawl. Adrien on the other hand is going to need to bully Mikey and force his will on him early. Don’t let Mikey get comfortable or set, but more importantly be smart because we really don’t know if his power will carry up in weight.”
Moment of truth time…prediction, please: “I see,” Herring finished, “a close unanimous or majority decision for Broner.”