Even though former four-division champion Adrien Broner doesn’t have a world title right now, that didn’t make a fight with him any less enticing to unbeaten Mikey Garcia.
Garcia, a three-division world champion who currently holds a 135-pound title, is stepping up to face Broner in a 140-pound non-title bout that will headline a Showtime card on July 29 at a site to be determined.
Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) won world titles at 126 and 130 pounds in 2013 before becoming a three-division champion in January with a crushing third-round KO of unbeaten 135-pound titleholder Dejan Zlaticanin.
The win improved Garcia to 5-0 (3 KOs) in world championship fights and 7-0 (6 KOs) against current or former titleholders, but the 29-year-old Southern California native will be fighting at a career-high weight against Broner. He weighed 138 when he gained a fifth-round TKO of Elio Rojas last July in his return from a 2½-year layoff.
“I knocked Zlaticanin out cold when he had never been dropped, so the power will be there regardless of weight,” Garcia said. “It just depends on how well Broner can take a punch.
“I feel I have a slight edge when it comes to natural boxing skills, technique, ring generalship, timing and controlling range. I’m working on speed, footwork and reflexes so the weight doesn’t slow me down.”
Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) is 5-2 with two KOs against current or former world titleholders, with his losses coming against Marcos Maidana in a 147-pound title bout in December 2013 and against former champion Shawn Porter in a 144-pound fight in June 2015.
“ Everybody knows that when Adrien Broner’s focused, on track and does everything correctly, nobody can beat me. I’m tired of coming up short. I’m bringing fireworks. ” Adrien Broner, on fighting undefeated Mikey Garcia in a 140-pound bout on July 29
Garcia’s brother and trainer, Robert Garcia, was Maidana’s trainer when the Argentine knocked Broner down in the second and eighth rounds on his way to beating “The Problem” by unanimous decision in The Ring’s Upset of the Year.
“Maidana said Broner’s power was far superior to any opponent he’d ever fought,” Robert Garcia said. “Not even Floyd Mayweather hit him that hard in the two fights Marcos lost. Broner was the hardest puncher of Maidana’s career.”
Broner earned his first world championship at 130 pounds in November 2011, and has since won titles at 135, 140 and 147. The Cincinnati native lost his 140-pound title on the scale, however, before his April 2016 win over Ashley Theophane.
In his last fight in February, Broner was scheduled to meet Adrian Granados at 142 pounds but the weight was moved to 147 at Broner’s request less than two weeks before the 10-round bout, which Broner won by split decision.
Despite those issues, Broner said he is motivated by the challenge of handing Garcia his first defeat.
“I’ll have no problem making weight. This fight gives me reason to make 140 pounds,” said Broner, who will turn 28 years old on July 28. “You have two fighters in their prime with high IQs and chips on their shoulders.
“Everybody knows that when Adrien Broner’s focused, on track and does everything correctly, nobody can beat me. I’m tired of coming up short. I’m bringing fireworks.”
For a complete look at Broner vs Garcia, visit our fight page.
Editor's note: Lem Satterfield contributed to this report.