The Other Fight this Saturday: Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados
By: Rahat Haque
All eyes will be turned towards Khan vs. Crawford this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Several articles have been written on that fight in this very site, including one by the author of this article. However, there is another fight that will take place on the same night on the other coast, in Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California. Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados. While the Fox card will carry much lesser intrigue than its ESPN counterpart, it is still a match worth watching.
Danny Garcia is the bigger name, and will be drawing most of the audience for the fight. Here is a man who has worked very hard to climb up the ranks and make himself a name in the sport of boxing. But whatever Danny does, he is always seen as the underdog against legitimate opposition. His fans will remind you of that no doubt, but it is a valid criticism from the neutrals. There is something in Danny’s game that is not convincing enough to make you think he will cruise past his opponents. He was the underdog vs Khan and Matthysse. He did win both fights, but most claim the victory versus Khan to be a work of Khan’s own undoing. Similarly, most claim the victory over Matthysse as a result of the cut on Lucas’s right eye, which bothered the Argentinian slugger for most of the fight. Fans also frown upon the fact that he took too many low blows from Danny in that encounter.
Regarding Danny’s demolition jobs against Rod Salka and Paulie Malignaggi, he is again discredited as having cherry picked his opponents. The Rod Salka matchmaking was a shocker, and Malignaggi was already over the hill. Most fans looked at the latter as setting up an old man up for a devastating left hook, which is of course how things turned out. Then there were also the controversial decisions where people felt Danny got the nod. The Lamont Peterson fight was extremely close, I attended that fight live at Barclays Center as a matter of fact. I did score it for Danny, but by only one round. The Herrera fight in Puerto Rico was the much bigger controversy. The majority of the boxing world agreed that Danny was beneficiary of some home cooking.
So as Danny Garcia raked up the wins prior to his first defeat versus Thurman, it was not at all a stellar critique free resume from his end. He won all right, but fans were hesitant in giving him credit because either they disagreed with the scorecards, or they thought the opposition was too weak, or they believed he got lucky. The bubble was supposed to burst against Keith Thurman for the Philadelphia pugilist. It did. That was no surprise again to most observers. Thurman was one of the big stars at 147. But could Danny bounce back and beat Shawn Porter with his boxing skills and power? It would be an easier task than the Thurman fight, and if Danny was as good as his loyalists said he was, he should have had no problems negating the athleticism and work rate of Shawn Porter with his mix of skills and power. But he could not overcome Porter and ended up with another loss. That was the low point of Danny Garcia’s career, his boxing nadir.
Come this Saturday night, it is his chance to get back to winning ways against Adrián Granados. Even though a bigger name opposition would be preferable, at least he did not reach down to the level of boxer-cum-trainers like Rod Salka. No disrespect intended for Lightning Rod, he is very knowledgeable about the game, but he himself would tell you that he is a journeyman and was on no one’s radar when the fight between him and Danny first got announced. That is not the case with Granados. Here is a man who has quietly build himself a reputation ever since surprising Amir Imam with a TKO. Imam was considered a rising prospect until then. But does Adrián have the firepower to trouble Danny? It is unlikely. Danny has demonstrated he has a great chin versus Peterson and Rios. Some heavy punches were landed throughout the course of those fights, but none which rocked Garcia too badly. Also, if this fight should at any point turn into a shootout, Granados would not be wise to trade hooks with Garcia. Granados has guts definitely, it shows in the way he fights, and his tempo can take fighters by surprise. But what Danny has is experience and calculated power, which he can unleash when in range. If Adrián come rushing in, he is setting himself up. That will be playing into former welterweight champion’s style, where he favors being the non-aggressor. However, if Adrián chooses his moments when to be on the front foot, but also mix it up by urging Danny to come forward, à la Mauricio Herrera, it should make for an interesting fight.
The most likely outcome is an easy decision win for Garcia, where Granados gets debilitated throughout the course of the fight by Danny’s punches, but continues his charge as an aggressor, albeit with less fervor. This will be the dream sequence for Danny, where he can connect cleanly every time as a weakened Granados comes charging forward. But at the same light, it is also a banana peel for Danny. He is not one of the biggest names in the division anymore after the back-to-back defeats, but because he has crossed that fame threshold, any losses against upstarts like Granados will not look good at all! So while we hold our breaths for the Khan Crawford fight, we might as well pay attention to the fight taking place on the west coast. The more polished Danny is the overwhelming favorite, but Granados is a live underdog.
Otto Wallin vs Adrian Granat Preview
By: Ste Rowen
This coming Saturday, in the Stone City, two Swedish heavyweight rivals are set to collide. At Sundsvall’s Gaerdehov Ice Hockey Arena, unbeaten southpaw, Otto Wallin, 19-0 (13KOs) takes on Adrian ‘The Pike’ Granat, 15-1 (14KOs) for the vacant EBU European ‘Union’ heavyweight strap.
A relative late comer to the sport, Wallin only took up boxing at aged 16, 11 years later he finds himself as his country’s number one rated heavyweight, and lucky for him, he has a legitimate domestic rival that, if victorious this weekend, could fan the flames for a world title shot.
‘It’s a big shot.’ Wallin told ‘Laugh At First Site’, ‘I just wanna beat this guy ‘cos I wanna show who’s the best heavyweight in Sweden. The title is nice but I just wanna win the fight and beat this guy.’
‘He’s always been talking about me, saying I’m an easy fight but lately he’s been a little bit more on the other side saying it’s gonna be a tough fight. He’s realising that he’s in for a treat.’
‘We were around each other as amateurs but we never fought. To be honest I didn’t like him back then either. Just something about him that I couldn’t really handle, so it’ll be nice to get in the ring.’
Currently training out of New York, last time fans saw the unbeaten Swede was in Riga, on the Briedis vs Usyk undercard when Wallin overwhelmed 6-4 Bosnian, Srdan Govedarica. It was a stay busy fight that helped to build up the appetite for this all-Swedish clash, as Otto took till just the 3rd round of the scheduled 8, to stop the rank outsider. Before then, the Sundsvall native had been steadily building on his record with victories such as his dominant 2016 10-round decision win over the well-travelled, Raphael Zumbano Love and a 3rd round knockout of another Brazilian, in the form of Irineu Beato Costa Junior, whose previous opponents include the likes of Dillian Whyte, Christian Hammer and, up until recently the WBO world champion, Joseph Parker.
But it’s Saturday’s bout that will be the benchmark that decides whether Wallin has a future at the top level of the heavyweight scene.
The road to this weekend’s Swedish showdown hasn’t been quite so smooth for Granat.
Much like his upcoming opponent, ‘The Pike’ had been accumulating victories over reputable, but limited foes, including early knockout wins over Michael Sprott, Danny Williams and Evgeny Orlov, but just over 12 months ago, Adrian suffered a massive set back after suffering a 1st round KO to Alexander Dimitrenko.
On the front foot early, Granat had his hands low when the Russian fired a right hook that sent the Swede to the canvas for the first time in his pro career. ‘The Pike’ looked pretty vacant as he rose, and subsequently took 16 unanswered punches before hitting the canvas for a 2nd time, and this time for good.
It’s arguably why he’s had to look towards a domestic bout, rather than forward against the likes of Agit Kabayal and Dillian Whyte, which he might’ve done if he’d scored a victory over Dimitrenko.
The Malmo native returned to winning ways in December with a 4th round stoppage over 9-5 Georgian, Irakli Gvenetadze. Granat has also recently linked up with American trainer, Jonathan Banks and he’s already feeling the improvements,
‘To train with Jonathan Banks at the Kronk Gym and to meet all those guys there was a pretty cool experience. I first met Jonathan in Hamburg when I was sparring with Dillian Whyte. After that he invited me to come and spar Klitschko. We got on pretty well so when I was looking for a new coach, I gave him a call and he was interested.’
‘I’m not going to tell you exactly what we’ve been working on but I will say the past 10 weeks training with Jonathan could not have gone any better.’
‘I’m focusing on myself, not on Otto… It’s hard to say what happens when we come face-to-face but all I know is, I feel really good and I’ll be ready for whatever he brings.’
Saturday’s fight certainly won’t push the winner to the front of an already heavily crowded queue for the world title accolades, but it should certainly setup some pretty tasty contender matchups in the near future.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Lipinets vs. Kondo, Porter vs. Granados, Wilder vs. Stiverne
By: William Holmes
Last Saturday night Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua was able to successfully defend his belt against an overmatched Carlos Takam, but looked less than impressive in doing so.
This Saturday night the WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder, will look to defend his title against Bermane Stiverne in a rematch of a fight that Wilder convincingly won the first time.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Two other bouts will also be televised. Shawn Porter will look to get back into the welterweight title picture when he faces Adrian Granados in a WBC Welterweight Title eliminator. The first bout of the night will be for the vacant IBF Junior Welterweight Title and will be between Sergey Lipinets and Akihiro Kondo.
This card will take place at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York and will be televised live on Showtime.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Sergey Lipinets (12-0) vs. Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1); IBF Junior Welterweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Sergey Lipinets, a highly ranked prospect from Kazakhstan, and Akihiro Kondo, a tough rugged veteran from Japan.
Lipinets, at 28, is four years younger than Kondo but will be giving up about one inch in height. They both have notable power. Lipinets has ten career stoppage victories including four of his past five bouts. Kondo has sixteen stoppage victories including five straight KO/TKO wins.
Lipinets has been fairly active and fought three times in 2016 and once in 2017. Kondo fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016.
Lipinets is also a former WAKO World Full Contact Kicking Boxing Champion at Light Welterweight.
Lipinets, despite only having twelve professional fights, has only faced on opponent with a losing record since the start of his professional career. He has already defeated the likes of Clarence Booth, Leonardo Zappavigna, Walter Castillo, and Haskell Rhodes.
Kondo has never fought as a professional outside of Japan. More specifically, he never fought outside of Korakuen Hall in Japan as a professional. His list of defeated opponents is less than impressive and includes boxers such as Komsan Polsan, Shogo Yamaguchi, and Ryuji Migaki. His losses were to Nihito Arakawa, Yoshitaka Kato, Tomoya Yamada, and Rick Sismundo.
Kondo will likely be a tough opponent that has the ability to go the distance, but his six losses in Japan are hard to overlook as well as his lack of a notable victory over a well known opponent. Lipinets should win, but he may have to box conservatively to avoid a shocking knockout loss and win a safe decision victory.
Shawn Porter (27-2-1) vs. Adrian Granados (18-5-2); Welterweights
Shawn Porter is another boxer looking to get back into title contention as he faces Adrian Granados in the welterweight division.
Porter is two years older than Granados but still in his athletic prime at the age of thirty. He will be giving up two inches in height and about four and a half inches in reach to the taller Granados.
Both boxers has fairly successful amateur careers. Porter was a US National Golden Gloves Champion while Granados was a Junior Golden Gloves National Champ.
Both boxers have been fairly inactive the past two years. They both only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.
Porter has higher number of knockouts. He has stopped seventeen of his opponents while Granados has stopped twelve. Porter also has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Erick Bone, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, and Ray Robinson. His losses were to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook.
Granados lost a close fight to Adrien Broner and scored a big upset over Amir Imam. However, he has lost to the likes of Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, and a Joe Juan Fuentes.
Granados is a viable opponent because of his close fight with Adrien Broner and his upset victor over Amir Imam, but Porter is too experienced to lose a fight over an opponent like Granados at this stage of his career.
Deontay Wilder (38-0) vs. Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
The man event of the evening is between Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne for the WBC Heavyweight Title. They previously met in January of 2015, a fight which went the full twelve rounds and saw Wilder win a comfortable decision.
Wilder was originally scheduled to face Luis Ortiz, but a positive drug test by Ortiz forced the cancellation of that bout.
Wilder will have a five inch height and a three inch reach advantage over Stiverne. He is also seven years younger than his opponent. Stiverne, at the age of thirty eight, will likely have a very hard time getting another title shot if he’s not successful on Saturday.
Wilder has unbelievable knockout power. He has stopped thirty seven of his opponents and the only man to take him to the distance was Bermane Stiverne. Stiverne has twenty one stoppage victories on his resume but has only won one of his last five fights by stoppage.
Inactivty will hurt Stiverne. This will be his first fight in nearly two years. He last fought on November 14th of 2015. Wilder fought twice in 2016 and once in 2017.
Both boxers have a decent amateur background, but Wilder is the only one of the two to have medaled in the Summer Olympics.
Wilder has defeated the likes of Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, Siarhei Liakhovich, Audley Harrison, and Kelvin Price. Stiverne has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Chris Arreola, Ray Austin, and Kertson Manswell. His losses were to Deontay Wilder and Demetrice King, who has a record of 11-15 at the time.
It’s hard to imagine Stiverne having a better shot now, at the age of thirty eight, than he did two years ago, especially with his inactivity. This wasn’t Wilder’s first choice for an opponent, but it’s an opponent that he should feel fairly confident that he can beat, again.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Broner vs. Granados, Peterson vs. Avanesyan, Browne vs. Williams
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Broner vs. Granados, Peterson vs. Avanesyan, Browne vs. Williams
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, and About Billions Promotions will televise three high caliber fights on the Showtime Network live from the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The opening bout will be between undefeated United States Olympian Marcus Browne and Light Heavyweight contender Thomas Williams Jr. The co-main event of the evening will be between David Avanesyan and the returning Lamont Peterson in the welterweight division.
The main event of the night will be between Cincinnati native Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.
Marcus Browne (18-0) vs. Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2); Light Heavyweight Division
Marcus Browne represented the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics and is a former National Police Athletic League Champion. He comes from a deep amateur background but will be facing one of the toughest tests of his career when he takes on former Light Heavyweight Title Contender Thomas Williams Jr.
Both boxers are southpaws, but Browne will have a slight ½ inch height advantage and an imposing four and a half inch reach advantage. Both boxers have decent power as Browne has stopped thirteen of his opponents while Williams has stopped fourteen. However, it should be noted that both of Williams’ losses have come by stoppage, so his chin can be considered questionable.
Williams has been fairly active and has fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. His two losses were to Gabriel Campillo and Adonis Stevenson. He has defeated the likes of Edwin Rodriguez, Cornelius White, Yusaf Mack, and Otis Griffin.
Browne has never tasted defeat but won a very questionable decision over Radivoje Kalajdzic in his last bout. He has defeated the likes of Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White, Aaron Pryor Jr., and Otis Griffin.
This will be Williams’ first fight since his devastating knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson. Williams was doing well in that bout, but unwisely chose to slug with a knockout artist. Browne isn’t considered by many to be a knockout artist, but he has a strong amateur pedigree and will likely be able to outbox and outlast Williams.
This is a good test for Browne and should be a compelling fight, but Browne should be considered the slight favorite.
David Avanesyan (22-1-1) vs. Lamont Peterson (37-3-1); WBA Welterweight Title
Lamont Peterson has been in some very entertaining fights during his career, but didn’t have any fights in 2016 and had no fights in 2015. He’s also thirty three years old and will be five years older than Avanesyan on fight night.
Avanesyan has spent most of his career fighting in Europe and Russia and wasn’t known by many until he defeated a washed up version of Shane Mosley. Avanesyan has been slightly more active than Peterson and fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Avanesyan will be giving up one inch in height and about four inches in reach to Lamont Peterson. Peterson is also the better knockout artist as he has stopped seventeen of his opponents and Avanesyan has only stopped eleven.
Peterson’s losses were to Timothy Bradley Jr., Lucas Matthysse, and a razor thin decision loss to Danny Garcia. He has beaten the likes of Felix Diaz, Dierry Jean, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lanardo Tyner, and Victor Cayo.
Avanesyan’s professional resume pales in comparison to Peterson. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Herrera, Shane Mosley, Kaizer Mabuza, and and Charlie Navarro. His lone loss was to Andrey Klimov in the second fight of his career.
Hopefully ring rust won’t be a factor for Peterson, but he’s been known to start fights slowly and warm up to the end. If Peterson waits too long to attack the body he could give up some early rounds and lose another close decision.
But Peterson has been in big fights before and he’s used to the pressure of a nationally televised audience. This experience gives him the edge over Avanesyan on Saturday.
Adrien Broner (32-2) vs. Adrian Granados (18-4-2); Welterweight Division
A lot of people have been questioning Broner’s conditioning and commitment to boxing as he has recently requested that this fight be fought at the welterweight limit and he appears to be several pounds over his normal fighting weight at recent press conferences.
Broner and Granados are both twenty seven years old, but Broner will be giving up two and a half inches in height and four and a half inches in reach. Both boxers are also similar in that they both have a decorated amateur background. Broner was a National Silver Gloves Champion and Granados was a Mexican Olympic Team Reserve and a Junior Golden Gloves Champ.
Broner is the bigger puncher of the two. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents while Granados has only stopped twelve. They both went 5-1 in their last six fights.
Granados has losses to Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, and Joe Juan Fuentes. He has beaten the likes of Amir Imam, Kermit Cintron, and Lanardo Tyner. His win over Imam was a major upset and likely got him this bout with Broner.
Broner has defeated the likes of Ashley Theophane, Khabib Allakhverdiev, John Molina, Emmanuel Taylor, Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Jason Litzau. His losses were to Macros Maidana and Shawn Porter.
Broner’s recent appearances and social media drama gives this writer some concern going into Saturday, but this bout will be fought in Broner’s hometown and Granados, absent one upset victory, has never faced or defeated someone on the talent level of Adrien Broner.
Of the three televised bouts this one will likely be the biggest blowout.
Why Adrien Granados Has A Chance Against Adrien Broner
Why Adrien Granados Has A Chance Against Adrien Broner
By: Sean Crose
Adrien Broner needs no introduction. To be sure, it wasn’t long ago that the Cincinnati native was being hailed as boxing’s next big thing – heir to the Floyd Mayweather throne. Things didn’t work out like that, of course. A hard loss to Marcos Maidana followed by another comeuppance at the hands of Shawn Porter took a lot of bloom off Broner’s showy rose. Still, there’s the over the top cockiness of the man that has continued to make him a hot commodity in the fight world. Oh, Broner isn’t heading a pay per view card, nor is he considered a pound for pound kingpin.
Indeed, the likes of other top sluggers in Broner’s general weight realm – men such as the highly skilled Bud Crawford – are considered heads and tales above Broner skill wise. Still, Broner, despite his lack of laser like focus and outside the ring legal problems, hasn’t been written off yet. Why? Well, there’s that beloved (by some) bad attitude, and there’s also a degree of talent that can’t be denied. No, Broner hasn’t let that talent grow, but it’s still there – and it’s still dangerous to any opponent Broner may meet in the ring.
Of course, Broner’s next opponent, the unheralded Adrien Granados, wants to make his name against the bold attraction when they meet this February in Broner’s home town. And perhaps he shouldn’t be written off so quickly. Granados (18-4-2), after all, once sparred with Broner (32-2). What’s more, he stunned the highly regarded Amir Iman in the later portion of 2015. Since then, Granados has only had one fight, a UD win over the less than lauded Ariel Vasquez last July. Still, he’s got reason to feel his chances might be good against Broner, as the man who is known as “About Billions” has been known to disappoint.
Indeed, although Broner’s antics – such as arrests, sex tapes, implied (intentionally or not) suicide threats and over the top theatrics – may keep him in the eye of boxing fans, it’s only natural for those fans to wonder just what kind of Broner will show up in the ring next month – a serious professional, or a less than serious figure on his way to obscurity. Time, of course, will tell the tale. Broner, however, isn’t the only one with a say in how the proceedings will go. Boxing is a two-athlete contest, after all.
And the entire world can be shook with a single punch.