The skeptics left Barclays Center vindicated, while fans walked out frustrated, angry even. July 29 ended with a thud for former four-division champion Adrien Broner, who was schooled by three-division world title holder Mikey Garcia over 12 rounds of Boxing 101.
Garcia wore Broner down with three- to four- punch combinations, so sharp in delivery and accurate in hits that they deserve to be replayed in boxing classes. Garcia demonstrated to the audience that technique, timing and economy of movement trump flash and gaudiness.
Garcia was heavily favored to win, but fans had hoped for an engaging bout because after all, it seemed that Broner had delivered on his promise to take this fight seriously. And to a certain extent, he was true to his word. He met the weight limit of 140 lbs, weighing in at 138.5 lbs, and toned down his verbal antics in the run-up to July 29.
But July 29 proved that Broner is simply not in the A-list. He showed flashes of brilliance towards in the last four rounds, but by the time he decided to throw more than one punch at a time, it was too late. Garcia had racked up at enough points for him to cruise through the remaining four rounds if he had wanted to.
Garcia attributed his victory to timing. He controlled the ring, walking down Broner to the ropes before delivering sharp combinations. He was consistent, delivering the same volume of punches until the last round. He triumphed via a textbook boxing style that has been underestimated in the past. Perhaps the only consolation for Broner was he didn’t fall to Garcia’s right hand, which he seemed to fear the most. But by the 11th round it was clear even to the least initiated that Garcia had won decisively.
Broner acknowledged that Garcia was the better boxer in the post-fight interview. But when the subject of July 29 being a “do or die fight” came up, Broner blew up.
“They said it’s a do or die fight. If I fight tomorrow everyone will still come to see me, man. At the end of the day, listen, I’m still AB, I’m still a fighter, and they still can’t get it. And if they want a rematch in California we can do it.” But after last night’s performance, will anyone really pay good money to watch Broner again?