By Matt Richardson at ringside
Photos: Emily Harney
Before Mikey Garcia took a two and a half year break from boxing he was an extraordinary fighter. Now that he’s back in the ring, he may be even better than he was before. That was the message late Saturday night in front of 12,084 fans at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, when Garcia, the WBC lightweight champion, moved up to junior welterweight to dominate former champion Adrien Broner over twelve rounds.
Garcia (37-0, 30 KO’s) won a unanimous decision on scores of 117-111 and 116-112 (twice).
Fightnews had Garcia winning, 117-111.
A few early rounds saw both fighters feeling each other out, but as the fight progressed toward the middle portion Garcia stepped up the pace and ultimately dominated Broner (33-3, 24 KO’s) down the stretch of the fight.
Broner slightly outworked Garcia in the first, a round in which neither fighter committed to throwing many punches. Garcia, from Moreno Valley, CA, connected with a few body shots at the end of the second and then stunned Broner in the third with a left hook. Broner, from Cincinnati, OH, connected with a hard right in the fourth but it was Garcia who, at the end of the round, was chasing Broner. Both men exchanged flush punches at the end of the frame.
Broner pot-shotted Garcia in the fifth but Garcia came back toward the end of the round with hard rights. Garcia slammed Broner with a series of rights in the final minute of the sixth and dominated the round. Garcia pounded Broner to the body and head in the seventh, a round that ended with Garcia slamming Broner with a hard combination that was punctuated by a right that hurt. Garcia beat Broner up in the eighth, too, landing an assortment of punches to the body and head as Broner attempted to bounce back with shots of his own. Broner, known to fight dirty when in trouble, then retaliated with low blows.
Garcia and Broner engaged in an exchange in the ninth that had the crowd roaring. Garcia did well early and Broner did well later in the round. But Garcia went back to boxing and moving in the tenth. A jab-right-jab-right uppercut series slammed Broner’s head back later in the round. Garcia did good work in the eleventh, although Broner connected with a few shots in the last minute. Broner tried to salvage the fight in the final round and may have made the bout appear closer than it was but Garcia had built up enough of a lead to offset any late tricks.