While the world is preparing for quite possibly the biggest boxing match in world history next month all the true boxing purist were tuned into Showtime Sports Championship Boxing highlight filled event Saturday night on July 29th, 2017 which featured Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) taking on Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs). Neither were in attendance for a belt of any kind, but, they both had much to prove.
Broner needed to show the world that he was not just “about billions” like his promotional company but rather “about boxing” and serious in his attempt to regain the title as next-up in boxing superstardom. Garcia wanted to show that he had not lost a step and is still ready, willing, and able to take on all comers after two and a half years.
12,804 people were in attendance at The Barclays Center to watch which was, has been, and quite possibly may be the best fight card of 2017.
The initial fight to start the event was a Super Featherweight fight between Desmond Jarmon of Cincinnati, OH (3-0) and Darnell Pettis (1-4) of Cleveland, OH a few minutes past 5pm. After knocking Pettis down in the second round of the bout, Jarmon went on to win by a shutout decision and 40-35 on the cards.
Following them was a Welterweight match between Noel Murphy of Woodlawn, NY (10-0, 2KO’s) and Julio Cesar Chavez of the Dominican Republic (11-0, 6 KO’s). Murphy, who seemed in control throughout the fight, ultimately won 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74.
The next fight had Dan Murray (2-1, 0 KOs) of Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey going against Kenny Robles (2-1, 1 KO) of Staten Island, New York. Earlier in the week we were able to sit with Robles and have a brief conversation about the event and his preparation leading up to it:
In the end of a closely contested and hardfought match, Murray was decided to be the winner by majority decision. Two judges scored 39-37 Murray while one had it even at 38-38.
Around this time is when the electricity in the arena began to build. Katie Taylor (6-0, 4 KOs) an Irish lightweight fighter, made her US debut against Jasmine Clarkson (4-9, 0 KOs) from Cedar Hill, Texas.
Taylor, after landing 65 of a total of 143 punches, won the bout after Clarkson’s corner threw in the towel just before the fourth round. In her ensuing press conference Taylor stated:
“It was a fantastic experience being my first time competing here in the U.S. There were definitely some nerves before the fight. It was great to go in there and get a stoppage. I definitely hope that I made some fans. I loved hearing the Irish fans in the crowd. I hope that there will be even more next time I fight here. The more fights I have here in the U.S., the better.”
When asked about her performance she continued:
“I thought I performed pretty well. I definitely got caught with a few silly shots. I could have been cleaner but overall it was a good performance. I felt good and strong. I’ll be ready to get back in there as soon as possible.”
The next was a world title elimination bout. It had Rau’shee Warren (15-2, 4 KOs) a former bantamweight titleholder, who moved down in weight to junior bantamweight fought a former titlist by the name of McJoe Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs). The fight ultimately went in favor of Warren in a decision, unanimous, which seemed all to apparent. The cards scored 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111.
Afterwards Warren spoke to the press and stated that while he fought well he would only give himself a B+:
“I would give myself a B+ for that performance. I wanted to make sure to use my jab and I felt like it really helped me win the fight.
Continuing on he shed light on what may be next for him:
“I feel really good at this weight. Now it’s time for me to go get a strap. I haven’t been at this weight since the Olympics. I want to get these titles and then go down to 112 pounds for another title. First I want to take care of Jerwin Ancajas.”
Now is around the time when the electricity began to pickup even more so in the arena. Last Thursday at the event presser, both Gerald Washington (18-2-1, 12 KOs) and Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs) had their exchange of words toward one another at the podium:
— Melvin, A 2022 Oscar Winner. (@MelvinTaylorII) July 27, 2017
This only hyped the fight more as both fighters were prepared to go blow for blow as the first round began in this heavyweight showdown. Early on, Washington wanted to use his quickness and strength to throw off Miller and catch him on all sides. Yet it was Miller, while shaking off some rust, who walked Washington down the entire fight. This was Miller’s first fight in 11 months due to a former promoter dispute with Dmitriy Salita and Salita Promotions. Discussing the fight Miller said:
“I definitely felt the ring rust. Gerald was very tough. It was a very good fight that had me thinking. My power was there, but I couldn’t put it together the way I wanted to today. “I took the hard way back coming in off of a layoff. Gerald definitely pushed me and motivated me. I had to rely on my brain and my power.”
The fight seemed it could go either way until 7 rounds in. You could see some of the drain Miller’s size had put on Washington and how he gave it all he had but that it wouldn’t be enough. After the 8th round Washington’s corner thew in the towel. At his press conference Miller stated:
“I knew there would be a give and take in this fight. It’s one thing to fight when you have stamina, it’s another to fight when you’re tired. I was trying to outthink him.”
Following this was the middleweight bout between former junior middleweight world titlist Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) and Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-5-2, 16 KOs). While this fight was also highly anticipated it resulted in being very one-sided as Charlo went to work on Heiland from the moment the bell rung.
Just as Heiland began moving however, it became noticeable that he was not his normal self as he could not plant effectively on his left leg. Heiland stated:
“I turned my left knee in the first round, but I did not want to give up. I tried to give it my all, but it was not my night. I had bad luck but I am going to work harder than ever to get back and get another opportunity to achieve my dream and win a world title.”
Using the injury as no excuse he fought as hard, and for as long, as he could yet was no match for Charlo who landed 110 of 243 punches. Afterwards Charlo stated:
“Sometimes the injury can be a decoy, you never want to just jump in and think it’s part of his game plan. My coach told me to stay behind my job like I did; continue to work and it’s going to come.
Continuing on, he discussed how he felt overall about the fight:
“I felt good at the weight. I was in good shape all camp. I just had to keep my composure in the ring. That’s always something I have to work on and I was able to do it. After I dropped him the first time they said he fell on top of his ankle. That’s just part of the boxing game. I had to just stay consistent and get the work done.
The fight was waived off after the fourth round when Charlo dropped Heiland with a mean right hook. Heiland was able to stand up and beat the count but in attempting to regain his footing referee Benjy Esteves called it a night.
Moving forward, Charlo believes he can do even better and is next in line for the title.
“I want the belt next. I’m thankful to my team for getting me ready physically. I did it for my city and my family. I’m ready for the next level….I’m ready, bring on the biggest names at 160… I’m the real Tommy Hearns… I feel like it’s my turn and I’m going to go get it.”
It’s a great attitude that Charlo will need as he now becomes the mandatory challenger for “Triple G” otherwise known as unified world champion Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin is set to face Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 16th in Las Vegas.
Last but certainly not least, came the headlining event of Adrien “The Problem’’ Broner boxing Mikey Garcia for the WBC Diamond Belt. This event had a great build up with the amount of storylines that were ongoing.
Broner very much wanted to prove to everyone that he still is the same boxer who was at one point a four-division world titleholder and can “about boxing” when the time comes. That he has traveled down his road of redemption to reclaim the moniker of next in line for boxing stardom.
On the other hand, Garcia wanted to show that despite his extended layoff he was still just as good as he previously had been. Between the two only one would walk out of the ring victorious and that was Mikey Garcia. The judges scored the bout 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 in his favor.
Garcia throughout the fight took it to Broner as he walked him down, stayed fundamentally sound, and proved that he is pound-for-pound one of the best fighters in the world.
“This is definitely one of my best performances ever. I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up. [Broner] is a great fighter who has great skills. I was the superior fighter tonight.
Early it seemed as if both fighters were testing the waters to see who would take it to who first until Garcia began to out together solid jabs which had Broner on the ropes.
“It was the timing, I’ve always said I have very good timing. It is underestimated when you are outside the ring but once you get inside the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”
It seemed as if Broner was not being as aggressive as he has been in previous bouts. Time and time again he stood, took Garcia’s punches, and came with a flurry of his own but not to the amount in which Garcia did. Garcia landed a total of 244 punches out of 783 while Broner’s total was 125 out of 400. Broner, who did not speak to the media afterwards, stated:
“It was a good fight. At the end of the day, I come to fight, I come to win and I put my heart on the line. I want to congratulate Mikey and his team.”
Yet he made sure everyone knew he is willing to face Garcia again:
“At the end of the day I’m still AB, I’m still about billions, I’m still the “can man,” if he wants to rematch in California, we can do it.”
Garcia, at his post fight press conference, did touch on what he believes is next for him and his career moving forward:
“Maybe I’ll go down to 135, stay at 140 or go up to 147. Anybody that wants to come join us on SHOWTIME, give us a call, we are ready for anybody.”
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