For even the most talented fighter– in any walk of life, if problems are as big as a ship, they'll miss out on glory as wide as the ocean.
In watching WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30KOs) systemically dispatch former 4-division champ Adrien Broner (33-3-1NC, 24KOs) via 12 round UD, it just occurred that Broner's huge river simply ran dry.
In a frenzied Barclays Center filled with a little over 10,000 fans, Garcia emptied the reservoir of Broner while showing a vast array of skills and textbook ring generalship.
After probably losing the first round to measure Broner, Garcia kept adjusting levels of pressure and combinations against the best “Problem” I'd seen in years. Coming in at a disciplined 138 and rehydrating to somewhere around 150, AB's conditioning was elite in a way it was not against Adrian Granados months ago.
He was a better fighter than the one you saw get bullied by Marcos Maidana and more lively than the lazy edition who was out-worked by Shawn Porter. This Broner was actually sharp, as it felt like we were watching two A fighters in there, until Garcia simply put distance between them with a solid display of fundamentals and rhythm.
When Mikey wasn't cutting the ring off beautifully to set up some of the game's best shot-making ability, he was outboxing an advancing Broner behind a high guard. Just picking him apart behind great balance and footwork.
I thought Broner showed all of his Mayweather-esque ability in defeat, the same way that Zab Judah reminded us of an aggressive Whitaker once upon a time. When faced with elite competition, Broner has proved to be slightly beneath it, not quite capable of rising to the realm of ‘special'.
I thought Mikey would batter and stop Broner, but he's not quite the hitter at 140 as opposed to 135. Talk of Terence Crawford needs to fallback; however, this performance against Broner needs to produce Vasyl Lomachenko V Mikey Garcia at lightweight. That's a sensational old-school fight for boxing that should find a way into 2017.
After all the back and forth Bob Arum, things should be settled between Garcia and Top Rank's ace to replace him.
He didn't fight or act like a “Big Baby.” NY banger Jarrell Miller (19-0-1, 17KOs) used his behemoth 300lb Muay Thai frame to mug and abuse Gerald Washington (18-2, 12KOs) with elements of a vintage Mike Tyson. He's not as athletic as “Iron Mike,” but he's got presence and the aura of a Lennox Lewis, while imposing his tall fighting on foes to great affect.
I don't know what kind of plans Al Haymon has for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, or if he's milking him, but I think Big Baby would beat him. BADLY.
JACOBS V CHARLO?
Outside of Canelo Alvarez V Gennady Golovkin, there isn't a better fight that can be made at middleweight than Daniel Jacobs V Jermall Charlo. After running roughshod over Jorge Sebastian Heiland in 4 rounds, Charlo has been installed as the WBC #1 contender vs GGG. That's intriguing, but I'm pretty sure Jacobs still feels he's the best middleweight in the world not named Golovkin. And while GGG V Charlo would be great (assuming Triple G survives Canelo– no gimme), Jacobs V Charlo is an even more dynamic matchup because of the styles.
Oh, Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor is a badass and solid pro. Her polish and skill set is so rare, that she's ready to beat Delfine Persoon right now. She's already one of the best female boxers in the world and is about to get better. Whoa.
Is there anywhere better than Barclays to watch a LIVE boxing event? I don't think so. Vegas? Ehhhh… MGM Grand ain't what it was. T-Mobile still has aways to go and Mandalay Bay loses to the ones just mentioned. The Garden still rocks, but Barclays has developed its own ambiance in Brooklyn, and a signature appeal with fans from all over the world. It is clearly the “Venue of The Year” after a strong 2016.