Tonight Mikey Garcia moved up in weight for his most important fight to date and gave us the most impressive performance of his career. In what was supposed to be a seemingly even keeled matchup, Garcia outclassed Broner in every faucet from start to finish.
Garcia methodically took apart any game plan that Broner may have had as he stayed in perfect position and didn’t waver throughout the fight. He continuously cutoff the ring and wasn’t afraid to get hit while Broner flinched and maneuvered backwards for the first six rounds and was unwilling to engage. When Broner changed his style in the second half and became more flat footed in the middle of the ring, Garcia maintained composure and rattled off body shots and combinations. In fact, when all was said and done, Garcia landed at a 2-1 rate because he was the busier fighter, throwing over 700 hundred punches to Broner’s 400. This would lead to another failed adjustment by Broner later, who just didn’t have any answers tonight.
As we saw in the Porter fight, Broner came on a little bit in the championship rounds after also being picked apart for the first ten. This time he wasn’t able to keep up with the quicker Garcia and land the type of shot he scored on Porter as Garcia became more mobile with Broner’s challenge and popped him with more straight jabs. A lot of Garcia’s action hit the defensively raised gloves of Broner that were raised most of the evening. While both boxer’s landed close to 30% of their punches, Garcia threw so many that Broner wasn’t able to get going or even effectively counter like he normally prefers. Garcia actually threw more punches in the last round when Broner was pushing the action more than he had all night. This goes to show that Garcia had an answer for everything Broner gave him.
The unanimous decision for Garcia was by far his biggest win, defeating the 4 division champ clearly and rather easily. The two scores of 116-112 were too close in my opinion as most observers couldn’t give Broner more than two rounds, and that was being generous. I had it 119-110. From here, Garcia can go back to lightweight and either defend or attempt to unify his title or he can look for another large prize fight at 140 or possibly 147 should the right opportunity present itself.
For Broner, he’s still missing that career defining win. His three biggest fights have been against Maidana, Porter, and now Garcia and he’s lost in all of them. At 28 he can still rebuild and be in another meaningful fight or two. He looked like he trained well and was in good shape for tonight but clearly his strategy of only counter punching and being defensive oriented will have to be adjusted in the future.
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