Mikey Garcia, Adrien Broner discuss their reasons for fighting one another

Mike Garcia poses with referee Tony Weeks after Garcia knocked out Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round in January to win the lightweight world title at MGM Grand in Las Vegas/Getty Images photo by Steve Marcus

 

Hate on Adrien Broner all you want, but the man has won titles in four weight classes, so his accomplishments speak for themselves. That’s why a fight between Broner and three-division world champion Mikey Garcia is a good thing.

That fight was announced this week for July 29 at a site to be determined (on Showtime). They will fight at the 140-pound junior welterweight limit. The interested parties on Thursday spoke on a conference call about what should be a terrific fight.

“I mean, I’ve done a lot,” said Broner, 27, of Cincinnati. “I’ve done a lot in the sport already at a young age. I’ve watched Mikey Garcia come up before and at the same time I came up. I’ve always wanted to fight the best. The best fight the best and that’s what’s going on today.

“This fight is going to be a tremendous fight and I’m bringing my ‘A’ game. I know a lot of people are probably counting me out.”

Garcia is not among them. He’s too smart for that. He took this fight because he knows Broner is dangerous. That, in turn, sparks plenty of interest.

“It is the biggest fight available for me right now,” said Garcia, 29, of Moreno Valley via Oxnard. “Originally, my plan was to unify at 135 (lightweight). If that was not available, I would look at a big  name to defend my title at lightweight. But that wasn’t quite available.

“Adrien Broner is a much bigger name and a much bigger star who has accomplished a lot in the sport. So it just made more sense to go and pursue the Adrien Broner fight than a regular title defense.”

Garcia, 29, is 36-0 with 30 knockouts. Broner is 33-2 with 24 knockouts.

 

 

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Errol Spence Jr. takes welterweight title from Kell Brook in his native England

Errol Spence Jr., right, lands a right hook on Kell Brook. Spence took Brook’s welterweight title via 11th-round knockout/Photo by Reuters via the Mirror

 

Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday took the welterweight title from Kell Brook via 11th-round knockout at Bramall Lane Football Ground in Brook’s native Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

Spence, of Desoto, Texas, dropped Brook in the 10th round. Brook, with his left eye badly damaged, took a knee midway through the 11th and the fight was over.

Brook (36-2) was attempting to make the fourth successful defense of his belt. He was coming off a fifth-round TKO loss to middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.

Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, was in his first world-title fight. He was up by one, three and five points at the time of the stoppage.

 

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Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia weigh in on Errol Spence Jr.-Kell Brook fight

Errol Spence Jr

Errol Spence Jr./Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

There is been a lot of talk about Errol Spence Jr. and how good he might become. The boxing world will find out Saturday if Spence is indeed the real deal when he challenges Kell Brook for his welterweight title at Bramall Lane Football Ground in Brook’s native England (on Showtime).

Current welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman and former champion Danny Garcia this week were asked to handicap what figures to be an entertaining bout. They, too, are anxious to see what their fellow American can do in this one.

“This is an interesting fight,” Thurman said. “I have not followed Kell too much, but I have obviously seen Errol fight in the U.S. Errol is a tough, young fighter who is just getting into the public’s eye, and Kell obviously has the strength of the British crowd on his side.

“It should be a tough fight that really speaks to the strength of the welterweight division. Both fighters are men that I would be open to fighting as I continue to unify the division in 2018.”

Thurman in March won a split-decision over Garcia in a title-unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Garcia believes this fight is a tossup.

“I think this is a 50/50 fight,” he said. “I think the person with the better game plan is going to win. There’s a lot of pressure to go into someone’s backyard like Spence is doing, and he’s never faced a fighter in his prime before like Brook.

“It’s definitely a big test for him and a big step up in competition. If he is ready, he can do it.”

Spence, a southpaw out of Desoto, Texas, is 21-0 with 18 knockouts. Brook is 36-1 with 25 knockouts.

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Wait, former champion Adrien Broner is no longer going to talk trash?

Shawn Porter, left, knocks Adrien Broner off-balance during a welterweight fight on Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. Porter won by unanimous decision after a 12-round bout. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Adrien Broner, right, is knocked off-balance by Shawn Porter during their fight in June 2015 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Porter won a unanimous decision/Associated Press photo by David Becker

 

Adrien Broner has been a big-mouth during his career. But he swears those days are now behind him. No kidding. He said as much Thursday at the final news conference for his welterweight fight Saturday against Adrian Granados at Cintas Center in Cincinnati (on Showtime).

“I know everyone is used to me coming up here and being boastful,” said Broner, of Cincinnati. “That’s not me anymore. I have a lot of respect for Adrian Granados and he’s a great fighter.

“A businessman that can fight. That’s what I am nowadays. I’m not a (expletive)-talker anymore.”

That’s a heck of a turn-around, assuming Broner keeps to that credo. One thing’s for sure, he can fight. Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) has won titles in four weight classes, but Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) is confident he can hand Broner his third loss.

“People that think I’m an underdog, don’t know me,” said Granados, of Cicero, Ill. “They don’t know the tricks I have up my sleeve.”

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Adrien Broner, Adrian Granados make weight for their bout in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OHIO - OCTOBER 03: Adrien Broner leaves the ring after beating Khabib Allakhverdiev at U.S. Bank Arena on October 4, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Adrien Broner/Photo by Dylan Buell, Getty Images

 

Former four-division world champion Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) and Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) on Friday successfully made weight for their welterweight bout Saturday at Cintas Center in Broner’s native Cincinnati (on Showtime).

Both fighters weighed in at 146 1/2 pounds, a half-pound under the limit.

Granados hails from Cicero, Ill.

Also on the card, Lamont Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs) of Washington D.C. will challenge David Avanesyan (21-1-1, 11 KOs) of Russia for his welterweight title. Peterson tipped the scales at 146 1/2 pounds with Avanesyan coming in at 147.

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Claressa Shields to take on Szilvia Szabados in historical bout in Detroit

 

 

Claressa Shields/Photo by Harry How, Getty Images

 

Claressa Shields, who won gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, will make history March 10 when she becomes the first female prize-fighter to headline a card that will be televised on a premium channel.

Shields will take on Szilvia Szabados of Hungary in the middleweight main event from MGM Grand in Detroit (on Showtime). Shields (1-0) is stoked.

“It is a dream come true to be the first woman to headline a boxing card on premium television,” said Shields, of Flint, Mich. “March 10 will be a historic night for boxing and all of the women who give so much to advance our sport.”

Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs) was equally thrilled.

“Fighters always say their next fight is the most important one of their career, but you get an opportunity like this and it really is,” she said. “This is an unbelievable dream. I am very happy to be receiving this opportunity.

“I know this fight is important for Claressa also, and I don’t really know what will happen in the ring. We both want to win. Claressa has more amateur experience, but I have more experience as a professional.”

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Jorge Linares happy to hand Anthony Crolla another loss in his backyard

Jorge Linares

 

Jorge Linares of Venezuela has already beaten Anthony Crolla once at Manchester Arena in England, taking Crolla’s lightweight title via unanimous decision this past September. Since Crolla is from Manchester, it was an impressive victory.

Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) apparently is not the type to say, “Been there, done that,” so he will happily take on Crolla again at the same venue March 25 (on Showtime).

“I wasn’t supposed to win the first fight, but I’m glad I did so I can come back and do it again,” Linares said Tuesday at a news conference in Manchester.

Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) certainly doesn’t want to lose twice in his backyard to the same opponent. Linares knows that, so he expects Crolla to come with everything he’s got.

“It’s a new year and a new day,” Linares said. “Anthony is going to be better and hungrier. And that means I will work harder, come with more skill and an even better game plan to win.”

Crolla, 30, can’t wait for the opportunity to get back the hardware he lost in September.

“I want the belt back, simple,” he said. “Fighting for these prizes in front of us is huge. It was a special night last time; great crowd and it’ll be even bigger this time. The setting was perfect, but I lost my belt.

“I lost to a great fighter, but I don’t celebrate losing. I don’t want to feel it again and I want to go down in history by beating a great fighter.”

 

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Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia talk the talk at Barclays Center news conference

The Associated Press

Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, left, lands a punch on Shawn Porter during their welterweight title fight in June at Barclays Center. Thurman retained his title via narrow decision/AP photo by Gregory Payan

 

Welterweight world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny Garcia are a combined 60-0 with 41 knockouts. That’s a lot of talent. The question is, which fighter has more?

We’ll find out March 4 when they square off in a title-unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS).

The interested parties hosted a news conference there Wednesday. Nor surprisingly, each fighter talked down to the other.

“This fight is going to have action,” said Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla. “There’s too much on the line. I remember Danny from the amateurs. I applaud him for everything he’s done in his career. He signed the wrong contract, though, because Keith Thurman’s got this. Danny Garcia, you’re getting knocked out.”

Said Garcia: “I just had to tell Keith be careful what he wished for. He wanted this fight. But now that he’s got it, you have to deal with me.”

Garcia, of Philadelphia, is trained by his father, Angel, who talks about as much trash as any trainer out there. Thurman intimated he couldn’t care less about that.

“Angel will talk to try to get people off of their game,” Thurman said. “Danny is an elite fighter, and he can talk for himself. These father trainers seem to like the limelight as much as the fighter, if not more. At the end of the day, I’m only fighting Danny Garcia.”

Thurman, 28, is 27-0 with 22 knockouts. Garcia, 28, is 33-0 with 19 knockouts.

 

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James DeGale, Badou Jack more than prepared for title-unification fight

James DeGale

James DeGale/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

We don’t get a lot of title-unification bouts these days, so when we do, we must relish the moment. From the sound of it, James DeGale of England and Badou Jack of Sweden plan on doing just that.

They will square off Saturday at Barclays Center (on Showtime). Each fighter will put his super middleweight championship belt on the line. Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) can’t wait.

“I’m fighting another world champion, so I  know that it’s not going to be easy,” he said. “No matter what, we’re getting the job done.”

Jack, 33, has been keeping his eye on his fellow champion, just in case this moment came to fruition.

“I’ve been paying attention to DeGale for a while,” he said. “You have to study your opponent a little bit for a fight this big. I’m ready to do anything it takes to win the fight.”

DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) said he, too, has gone the extra mile in his preparation.

“Camp is done; it’s been a wicked camp,” said DeGale, 30. “Everything has gone well. On Saturday night, you’re going to see two world-class fighters go to war. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and become the super middleweight unified champion.”

 

 

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Leo Santa Cruz’s father in remission, so team focused on Carl Frampton rematch

Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Much has been said about how Leo Santa Cruz could not have been 100 percent focused on the task at hand July 30 when he set out to defend his featherweight title against Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Santa Cruz’s father/trainer Jose was at the fight, but he had missed a lot of camp because he is fighting spinal cancer, and Frampton took his son’s title via majority decision.

However, the elder Santa Cruz has since gone into remission and he is in camp full-time as his son prepares for the Jan. 28 rematch with Frampton at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime).

Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs), who is also trained by his brother Antonio, is stoked.

“He’s always been the one who knows how to point out and correct the mistakes that I make in training,” he said of his father. “I think having him full-time will be a big difference. He will push me more.”

Jose Santa Cruz believes he can help his son be at the top of his game.

“I am happy to be part of Leo’s training camp again,” he said. “I think that was the major difference in his last fight. I’m back pressuring him again and making sure he keeps the pressure on his opponent. I think my presence in the gym reminds him of the work he needs to do.”

Frampton, 29, is 23-0 with 14 knockouts. Santa Cruz, of Lincoln Heights, is 28.

 

 

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