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Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner Pick

Mikey Garcia vs. Adrien Broner Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime
Weight Class: Junior Welterweight: 140 Pounds
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Mikey Garcia, 36-0 (30 KOs), Moreno Valley, California
Vs.
Adrien Broner, 33-2 (24 KOs), Cincinnati, Ohio

Betting Odds: Mikey Garcia (-750), Adrien Broner (+450)

Mikey Garcia will take on Adrien Broner on July 29 in a 140-pound bout that is an attractive matchup that should deliver fireworks. Garcia, 29, is unbeaten in 36 bouts and looks to be on a quest to attain greatness since returning to the ring two fights ago after a 2.5 year absence. In his last fight, he viciously stopped reigning WBC lightweight champ Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round in January. After just one meaningful fight at 135, he is moving up again and standing in his way is the massively talented, yet troubled and inconsistent Adrien Broner. Will Garcia's ascension continue or will Broner put it together for the signature win?

A few issues stand out about this fight beyond mere in-ring tactics. At the top of the list are lifestyle and weight. Broner is constantly running afoul of the law and his work ethic and manner of living is both suspect. Garcia, by all accounts, is a clean-living athlete. Then you see social media footage of Broner with a bottle of "sizzurp," and it's hard to put your money behind that. And it's extra hard when he's facing an unbeaten fighter of Garcia's caliber. But let's not hang our hats on that too much. Broner knows this is a nice opportunity in a fight not many expect him to win that would change his career and life if he did.

The weight conundrum is something that could affect both guys. Broner seems problematic with weight when going beneath the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. His last fight, a win over Adrian Granados in February, was supposed to be at 142, but he had to make it 147 the week of the fight. It wasn't his first time dealing with weight problems. We may have reached the point in the evolution of his career where he's not cut out to make 140 and could be compromised—not good at this level. By the same token, Garcia isn't the only fighter here who has risen up in weight, as Broner has risen a handful of divisions, as well. He doesn't strike one as the most legitimate welterweight and one would think with more discipline and dedication, 140 pounds wouldn't be a problem. We'll see.

It's not clear that Garcia's weight isn't a bigger concern. First off, weight classes need to be respected. They are there for a reason. Not many fighters possess the talent and power to the point where they can just blow off the importance of weight. Garcia was a featherweight and then resurfaced at 135 just recently. Now he's going up again. Not to say it's completely willy-nilly, but it seems a bit odd that he's moving up so quickly and even talking about another jump after this. Then again, we don't really know what's going on with his body and he is closing in on 30. He could just be getting bigger.

It's just that we're looking at a guy in Garcia who is a good-sized favorite here, but a fighter who has never been in these kinds of waters. He's facing an opponent in Broner who has competed capably as a welterweight and Garcia has only recently fought as a lightweight. Garcia will be seeing a robustness of offense that he hasn't experienced. Broner might be diminished from making weight, but if he can reach 140 smoothly, he should be able to enjoy an advantage in size.

Garcia's career has been strange. A fast rise where he seemed on the verge of stardom was cooled off with a promotionally-related layoff of nearly three years. Now he seems to have a "making up for lost time" vibe that could backfire. You'd almost like to see a more-organic climb to the top, not a frantic scenario where you're rising in weight in every fight trying to cram a bunch of action into a small place. He doesn't seem to really love the sport, which isn't a knock on the young man, but just a tidbit to consider. He just knows he's really good at it and figures he might as well see what he can do with it.

Still, it's hard to not notice how adept Garcia is at this. His older brother is an acclaimed trainer and former world champ, while the rest of his family has been figures in the sport for decades. He grew up in this. He has an innate handle on the sport. He seems like a normal enough fighter when the fight starts, a conventional and well-schooled fighter. But when the hands start flying, you see he is landing with frightening regularity. And the storm gets rolling early, as Garcia is really good at immediately zeroing in on his opponent. A lot of early stoppages on his ledger attest to that. His accuracy is of the fast-acting variety, as a lot of fighters instantly are taken out of the fight.

Broner, who will turn 28 a day before the fight, is a mixed bag. He's beaten some good fighters and at times, has flashed exceptional talent. He has speed and power and natural defensive skills. At his best, he has looked really good. And while he hasn't always delivered, he has also shown a certain level of toughness, losing by decision in two fights against top welterweights Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter.

On the other side of the coin, you have a fighter who started acting like a superstar before he actually became one. A lack of discipline is one of those issues that never seem to get better with time or money. He seems unsettled in weight—a little too small and underpowered to deal with the elites at 147, but unable to really get to 140 without issue. And against a tough, but limited Adrian Granados in February, he looked to be a fighter whose skills had begun to erode. That could be due to inactivity and maybe he'll be better with a recent fight where he had to work hard to get the split decision win.

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That leads to our next issue with Broner. There seems to be a gap between his star-power and actual merit as a prizefighter. While he has shown extreme talent in spots, the bottom-line is that he wasn't good enough to come close to beating either Maidana or Porter. If there was any measurable separation between Broner in his wins over Ponce De Leon, Paulie Malignaggi, or Granados, we didn't really see it. Has it not been abundantly shown that he is deficient at these levels? With today's elevated emphasis on trash-talk and social media presence, is Broner more of a creation than a top fighter? The truth, as with most things, lies in the middle somewhere.

It doesn't mean Broner doesn't have daylight to a possible win. He has competed at the higher levels, both in terms of poundage and caliber of opponent. This is a big fight—an area in which he more familiar. We've seen big talents like him respond to such a clear career-defining fight. This is a one-time cure-all for all his past indiscretions. It's just that the facts speak loudest in this business and Garcia is by far the more-reliable proposition at this point. It seems like it's going to be a really good fight and in cases like that, taking the underdog can be justified. And truth be told, a stance on Broner can be justified on some levels. I just think when the fight comes on, it's going to become very clear why Garcia is so heavily-favored. I think the wise move, however, is to wait for the number to go down, which it should by fight-night.

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Mikey Garcia at -750. Did you know... that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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