When Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime Sports unveiled its early schedule for 2017, the Junior Welterweight clash between the controversial Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados quickly was flagged as an upset in the making.
Broner, a champion in four weight classes, enters this fight after a layoff of nearly 10 months where he lost his Junior Welterweight titles on the scale prior to knocking out Ashley Theophane in a one-sided fight. Since then, Broner found himself on the wrong side of the law and many wondering how much longer it will be before his bad habits outside of the ring begin affecting his performance inside of it.
In Granados, he finds himself across the ring against a hard-luck opponent that has everything to gain in knocking off boxing’s biggest clown and he has a lot of people thinking he can do it. The aggressive-minded Granados has all of the stylistic nuances that would make even the most hardcore Broner fan nervous, especially considering the circumstances listed above.
He’s strong, well skilled, extremely active on the inside and can pack a punch. On top of that, Granados is both taller and longer than Broner and may be just as physically strong, if not stronger, than the ex-champ. Unless Broner can land enough firepower early on in the fight to discourage Granados, he’ll find himself in the trenches sooner than later.
If anything, Broner’s lack of confidence is on full display when he has an opponent that does not respect his power or range, and Granados is almost certainly going to make it a physical fight from the very start to make Broner feel very uncomfortable.
The writing may be on the wall making a Granados upset very likely, but then again, that would be assuming that the absolute worst version of Broner shows up Saturday night.
Despite the physical disadvantages and stylistic difficulties presented to him, Broner has fought far better opposition than Granados and has enough natural talent to carry him through the rough spots in the fight. Broner is at his best when he can time his opponent with a counter-right hand, which is as damaging as it is fast, and when Broner can get into an offensive groove and becomes more active, he’s at his most dangerous.
Granados keeping the fight to the outside will absolutely favor Broner even with an advantage in reach and height mostly because that means he is giving Broner space and room to potshot and clinch. While Granados has held his own and perhaps has had a few wins go to the other guy, he remains a fringe contender type that can give anybody a hard night, but can’t win above his level.
Unless Broner is too far gone due to the inactivity, weight issues and legal troubles he’s been facing over the last 10 months, this has always been his fight to lose. Granados may trouble Broner and one way or another serve as a wake-up call at this stage of his career, but not enough to derail it.
The call here is that Adrien Broner has his hands full with Adrian Granados, but a late knockdown and a strong surge down the stretch will allow Broner to narrowly avoid calamity and win a hotly contested decision.
On the undercard, Lamont Peterson looks to jump start his career after some significant time off by facing off against David Avanesyan, who was last seen presumably ending the career of the shell that was once Sugar Shane Mosley.
Peterson may not be as good as he once was but it would have to take a tremendous amount of rust for him to lose to Avanesyan. This one goes the distance with Peterson winning by a comfortable margin on the scorecards.