By Jason Pribila: Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KO) returned to the ring to decision his friend and former sparring partner Adrian Granados (18-5-2, 12 KO) on Saturday night in the Showtime Championship Boxing main event held in Cincinnati, USA.
Broner entered the ring in his hometown after a career-long hiatus due to legal issues he faced outside of the ring. During the build-up to this fight, Broner again sounded off about how he is taking his career seriously. What was different during this build-up was that he did not verbally attack his opponent.
This change was mainly because Broner considered his latest ring foe, a friend. Granados served as a Broner sparring partner prior to his bout against Marcos Maidana. They also shared a bond with a welterweight prospect, Ed Brown, who was tragically shot and killed on December 4, 2016. Brown represents one of many who have been slain via gun violence in the City of Chicago.
Each fighter dedicated their fight to Brown, with Granados taking the extra step by shaving Brown’s nickname “Bad Boy” in the back of his head.
For those who may have feared that this friendship would lead to a PBC-funded “business decision” type of fight had their minds put at ease when they witnessed how Granados attacked Broner in the opening frame.
The fight was originally set at a catch-weight of 142 lbs. As we drew closer to fight night,; Broner’s camp announced that it instead be fought at the welterweight limit of 147 lbs. Many believed that this weight increase would favor Broner, but Granados claimed that he was the bigger man, and he seemed set on imposing his will from the time the Opening bell chimed.
During the first frame Granados also felt that he was faster to Broner, as he let his hands go and beat Broner to the punch from the outside.
Broner steadied his ship and by the second round he had timed Granados and began greeting him with counter punches on his way inside.
Last week, boxing celebrated the 27th anniversary of one of its biggest upsets, recalling February 11, 1990 as the date that James “Buster” Douglas upset “Iron” Mike Tyson as a 42-1 underdog for the heavyweight title. Many claimed that on that evening Douglas was raised to a higher caliber fighter, because he was dedicating the training camp and fight to his recently deceased mother. Many later said that due to the timing of that fight, Douglas could not be denied.
On Saturday night, watching a fighter in Granados, who had been dropped 6-times in his career, walk-thru clean uppercuts that landed squarely on his chin, I began looking ringside to see if the venue looked more like Tokyo than Ohio.
The fighters fought each other at a tremendous pace where the momentum would swing several times round by round, and moment by moment.
Granados fought through a cut on his nose caused by an accidental head-butt, and by the end of the fight Broner also suffered a small cut above his right eye.
Neither Granados chin nor Broner’s stamina let themselves or the fans down at any point during the fight.
The other big story heading into the bout would be if Broner would make the 147 lb. welterweight limit. He had already had the limit raised from 142 lbs. and when he was seen sitting ringside last weekend during the Robert Easter Jr. fight, it looked as if he may have a sauna suit under his overcoat and dress shirt.
Broner weighted in at 146.5 lbs. during the official weigh-in, and if he had not prepared to go the distance in a tough fight, I can’t see anyway that he would have been able to hold off a fighter who simply refused to be denied.
As it turned out, Broner may have secured his victory by being the last one to make an impression with the judges. Granados was coming forward, and scoring despite Broner’s attempts at holding his gloves. Finally, with 30 seconds left Broner landed a combination that stopped an arm-weary Granados in his tracks.
That combination may have given the final round to Broner on judge Robert Pope’s scorecard. Had he given the round to Granados, he would have scored the ten rounds even.
When the official scores were read, each fighter was favored by a 97-93 score until Pope’s 96-94 card broke the tie in favor of Broner.
According to CompuBox punch statistics, Broner landed 166 of 403 punches (41 percent) while Granados connected on 146 of 683 blows (21 percent).
We will no doubt see each fighter in a televised PBC fight soon. Broner makes an attractive opponent against almost anyone at welterweight or junior welterweight. No matter who he faces it will be a big money fight. I personally would love to see him against one of Top Rank’s welterweights: Timothy Bradley or Senator Manny Pacquiao. More likely he could face Lamont Peterson, setting up the winner to face the winner of the March 4th clash between Danny Garcia and KeithThurman.
Granados again came up short in a fight that could have gone either way. He should leave the ring with his head held high, as he no doubt made Ed Brown proud. He will no doubt me matched tough in someone else’s hometown, however, he will most likely return to junior welterweight.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at email@example.com or followed on Twitter.com @PribsBoxing.