Gar­cia on a roll as he stalls Broner’s ca­reer

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

NEW YORK: Mikey Gar­cia piled up the punches in an­other pow­er­ful per­for­mance, and his ca­reer is clearly climb­ing. Adrien Broner re­mains stalled.

Gar­cia unan­i­mously out­pointed Broner to re­main un­de­feated, a fight that didn’t give him a ti­tle but could open more op­por­tu­ni­ties to fight for an­other one.

Gar­cia con­trolled his first fight at 140 pounds, par­tic­u­larly with the body shots he was able to sneak in be­low Broner’s de­fence, and won 117-111 on one card and 116-112 on the other two.

“This is def­i­nitely one of my best per­for­mances ever. I think I con­trolled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the ac­tiv­ity up,” Gar­cia said. “(Broner) is a great fighter who has great skills. I was the su­pe­rior fighter tonight.”

A for­mer cham­pion in three lower weight classes, Gar­cia (37-0, 30 KOs) never se­ri­ously hurt Broner but dic­tated the ac­tion for most of the 12 rounds, land­ing nearly twice as many punches ac­cord­ing to post-fights stats.

Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) lost a fight he prob­a­bly needed to win to prove he is wor­thy of still be­ing con­sid­ered one of box­ing’s head­lin­ers and ca­pa­ble of beat­ing some of the sport’s best. It was bet­ter than some of his re­cent per­for­mances, but not good enough against a fighter of Gar­cia’s cal­i­bre, and even he seemed to be talk­ing about his ca­reer in the past af­ter the fight.

“At the end of the day, I’m still a four­time world cham­pion at four dif­fer­ent weight classes and I’ll still be in the his­tory books,” Broner said.

Broner, who turned 28 on Fri­day, had won ti­tles in three di­vi­sions by 23 and later added a fourth. But losses and lethar­gic per­for­mances even in his wins, along with le­gal prob­lems out­side the ring, stalled his ca­reer that once rose so rapidly.

Gar­cia, mean­while, re­mains on a roll and con­tin­ued his dom­i­nant run over the last year since re­turn­ing from a 2 1/2-year lay­off while he bat­tled con­trac­tual is­sues. He can now weigh op­tions that could be pre­sented to him in mul­ti­ple weight classes. He said he’d like to go back to 135 pounds in search of re­gain­ing a ti­tle, but was open to stay­ing at 140 or even mov­ing up to 147 if the right op­por­tu­nity was avail­able.

He con­sis­tently backed Broner into the ropes and landed hard body shots. Broner re­peat­edly shook his head that none of them hurt and he fought back well, but they were enough to win the ma­jor­ity of the rounds.

“I’ve al­ways said I have very good tim­ing,” Gar­cia said. “It is un­der­es­ti­mated when you are out­side the ring but once you get in­side the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”

Gar­cia, 29, had stopped 19 of his last 21 op­po­nents. He had to set­tle for just beat­ing Broner, but per­haps his knock­out power will re­turn if he drops back down in weight.

Gar­cia cracked Broner with shots all over in the sev­enth, his most dom­i­nant round of the fight, but Broner ac­tu­ally be­gan to per­form bet­ter from there.

He scored well to the body in the ninth and had a crowd that was chant­ing “Mikey! Mikey!” a cou­ple rounds ear­lier cheer­ing for him. But Gar­cia went back to work in the 10th with pre­ci­sion punch­ing, pump­ing his fist as he re­turned to his cor­ner af­ter the round.

There was no ti­tle at stake but it was clearly a big bout for both. Gar­cia was able to beat the big­gest name yet he’s faced, which should help as he seeks the main­stream at­ten­tion that’s so far eluded him. – AP

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