Broner Has Value in Catchweight Fight vs Garcia

Adrien Broner (Bryan Horowitz (Flickr) [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0])
Mikey Garcia (-500) vs Adrien Broner (+333), Draw (+2500)

Three-weight world champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) and four-weight champ Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) have finally booked the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for July 29th. Garcia is the current WBC lightweight champ, but the pair have agreed to a non-title fight at a catchweight of 140 lbs.

This is the first big-name fight Garcia has landed, despite his unbeaten record and lightweight, junior lightweight, and featherweight titles. A match-up against Broner was too good an offer to pass up on, and he’s agreed to move up to 140 in order to make the fight happen.

Garcia has had two impressive wins after two-plus years outside of the ring. The then-WBO junior lightweight champ vacated his title and took leave from the sport after a bitter contract dispute with promoter Bob Arum.

After his knockout win against Dejan Zlatičanin, Garcia suggested a division-unifying mega-fight against Terence Crawford. But nothing came of that. For whatever reason, he’s struggled to land fights with notable names, so Broner will be his first real chance to shine on the big stage.

Broner isn’t on the same level as Crawford, but he’s a big draw nonetheless. His shaky split decision win against Adrían Granados in February left a lot to be desired and there’s reason to believe he’s on the decline. He hasn’t been the same since losing his welterweight title to Marcos Maidana back in 2013, even though he’s still just 27. 

While this is Garcia’s chance to make a name for himself, Broner is simply looking to prove that he’s still got it. The last few years have been riddled with sloppy performances and run-ins with the law. This may be his last chance to turn the ship around.

Garcia has the momentum behind him and he’s arguably the more developed boxer. So it’s not surprising that he opens the betting as the overwhelming favorite. But Broner is being underestimated here.

While Garcia is unaccustomed to fighting at 140, Broner has made title defenses at that weight. He may not be nearly as dominant as he used to be, but at +333, there’s a ton of value in the former top-five pound-for-pound fighter.

Pick: Adrien Broner (+333)