From the very beginning, the expectation was that unless the very best version of Adrien Broner showed up to face Adrian Granados, “The Problem” was going to take a debilitating loss that would likely affect his career in a big way.
True to form, Granados brought all the hell in the world to Broner in their 10-round Welterweight brawl, but Broner dug deep and fought back just as hard to earn a deserved split-decision win in his first fight in 10 months.
Granados followed the game plan of former Broner conquerors Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter before him by keeping the fight in close quarters and never letting Broner get set at any point in the fight. However, Granados simply didn’t have the strength or athleticism to make Broner respect his shots and Broner used his faster hands to land the sharper, more telling blows in lieu of Granados’ activity.
As the fight trudged on in the middle rounds, Broner and Granados both traded constantly in what devolved into a phone booth fight where they each dumped their arsenals on each other in a give or take brawl. Though it was anyone’s game at that point, Granados was starting to slow down and not landing with as much authority as he had to start the fight, and Broner was starting to connect with more success going into the final rounds.
Broner, who had fallen apart late in his losses to the aforementioned Maidana and Porter, turned in a very strong finish in the ninth and tenth round against a very tired Granados. To his credit, Granados never stopped coming forward, though it provided plenty of scoring opportunities for the former four-division champion down the stretch.
The late charge was enough for Broner to earn a split decision victory winning with scores of 97-93 and 96-94 to Granados’ 97-93. The Boxing Tribune scored the telecast 96-94 for Broner in a fight that could have easily been scored for Granados.
With the win, Broner moves to 33-2 all the while turning in the gutsiest performance of his career. While Broner did come out with the win, it would behoove him and his team to get back down to Junior Welterweight as soon as possible. The fight was moved from a 142-pound catchweight to a Welterweight fight just a week ago, and Broner’s track record at Welterweight suggests he’d be outgunned at the top level of that division.
Granados dropped to 18-5-2 with the split decision loss, but looked none the worse in defeat. Should he pick up a few wins and stay in the public eye, a Broner/Granados rematch would be a can’t miss fight that would be best served sooner than later.
On the undercard, Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 18 KOs) also ended a long layoff of his own by dismantling and dominating David Avanesyan (22-2-1, 11 KOs) in their 12-round bout for Avenesyan’s secondary WBA Welterweight title. Though Peterson was slow to start and shake off nearly two years of ring rust, it didn’t take too long for him to show that he was simply a class above Avanesyan and dominated the fight after the fourth round. Despite the one-sided performance, the scorecards were uncharacteristically close with Peterson winning by scores of 116-112 twice and 115-113. The Boxing Tribune scored the fight a much wider 118-110 for the former Junior Welterweight champion.
On the opening card of the night, a grudge match between Marcus Browne (19-0, 14 KOs) and Thomas Williams Jr (20-3, 14 KOs) was compromised by an ugly foul early, but the outcome of the fight was never in question. Browne dropped Williams in the second, then uncorked him with a vicious shot when he was down drawing a point deduction for the blatant foul. Williams was dropped again by the hard-hitting Browne in the fourth before being put down on the canvas for good in the sixth.