With Adrien Broner coming down in weight and Mikey Garcia moving up for their 140-pound bout, the clash of talented multi-division champions makes for an intriguing matchup even without any world titles at stake.
The boxers have combined to win seven world championships in seven weight classes even though neither has yet to reach his 30th birthday.
Brash and boisterous, Broner was an undefeated three-division champion by the age of 23 and has since added a 140-pound title to his résumé. But “The Problem,” who turned 28 Friday, has had a tumultuous last couple of years and finds himself a substantial underdog for the first time in his career against Garcia.
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Garcia is the polar opposite of Broner outside the ring, carrying himself with quiet confidence while letting his actions speak for him. Since returning from a 2½-year layoff due to contractual issues, Garcia has added a 135-pound world title to the 126- and 130-pound championships he earned before his hiatus.
Although they will meet will no world titles on the line, Saturday night’s clash between Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (36-0, 33 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) might be as big a test for both men as any championship bout either has competed in.
Although there were questions if Broner, who has lost three of his world titles on the scale, would make weight Friday, both fighters came in under the 140-pound limit with no problem, as Garcia weighed 139½ and Broner hit the scale at 138¾.
In addition to making the weight with no issues, Broner also toned down much of usual verbal antics leading up to the fight.
“I’ve said I’m not going to do too much talking,” Broner said. “You’ll see a more serious Adrien Broner. I’m going to let my hands do all of the talking but I’ll have plenty to say after the fight.”
The co-main event will feature Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) taking on Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-4-2, 16 KOs) in a 160-pound title eliminator. It will be Charlo's first fight since he vacated his 154-pound world championship in February to move up in weight after defending his title three times, most recently with a fifth-round KO of Julian Williams in December.
While Garcia still possesses his 135-pound world championship, which he earned in January with a crushing third-round knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin in Las Vegas, he set aside his campaign in the division to move up in weight for a shot at Broner.
“This fight is much bigger still than some of the world title fights that me and Adrien have been part of and some of the title fights that are around the division,” Garcia said. “It’s a very big and fun fight, and it could easily be seen as the biggest fight of both of our careers.
“But I'm not letting that distract me from my task at hand, which is defeat Adrien Broner. I think he will be the toughest challenge, the toughest opponent, the most accomplished fighter, that I have faced. So, honestly, I think it will be the toughest fight of my career so far.”
“ This fight is much bigger still than some of the world title fights that me and Adrien have been part of. ... It could easily be seen as the biggest fight of both of our careers. ” Three-division champion Mikey Garcia, on facing former four-division titleholder Adrien Broner
While Garcia is fighting at a career-high weight, Broner has competed at between 140 and 147 over the last four years with mixed results. The Cincinnati native moved up from 135 to 147 in June 2013, when he beat Paulie Malignaggi by split decision to win a world title in his third weight class, but he was knocked down twice by Marcos Maidana in his first title defense later that year and lost a unanimous decision.
Following three unanimous decision victories at 140 over Carlos Molina, Emmanuel Taylor and John Molina Jr., Broner then faced former 147-pound champion Shawn Porter in a catchweight bout and lost a fairly wide unanimous decision despite gaining a 12th-round knockdown.
Following that defeat, Broner won a vacant 140-pound championship in October 2015 with a 12th-round TKO of Khabib Allakhverdiev, but then was stripped of his title when he failed to make weight before gaining a ninth-round TKO of Ashley Theophane. In his most recent fight in February, Broner had trouble against friend and former sparring partner Adrian Granados after injuring his left hand in Round 1 but earned a 10-round split decision.
“I think this will be one of the best performances of my career,” said Broner, who moved his training camp from Cincinnati to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for this fight. “This will take me to the superstar level where I need to be. I heard Mikey is a big favorite—they aren't giving me much of a chance. I hope no one puts their house against me on this fight, because it won't work out well for you.”
While Broner has never lost a fight at 140 pounds or lower, it remains to be seen if Garcia will be able to carry his power up from 135. The unbeaten Southern California native earned a 126-pound title with an eighth-round stoppage of Orlando Salido in January 2013 before winning a 130-pound championship with an eighth-round KO of Roman Martinez in November 2013.
“If I have to be aggressive, I will be aggressive,” said Garcia, who intends to return to 135 pounds after fighting Broner. “If I have to box, I will box. If I have to try to stay in the middle of the ring, then I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to win this fight.
“I know people still haven't seen everything that I have to offer and I think Adrien Broner will be the one to challenge me enough and push me to that next level and bring out the best out of me.”
For a complete look at Broner vs Garcia, visit our fight page.