Mikey Garcia stays unbeaten with unanimous decision over Adrien Broner

Mikey Garcia ran his record to a perfect 37 wins in 37 fights with a one-sided beatdown of Adrien Broner on Saturday night in Brooklyn

Mikey Garcia was already a three-division champion and one of the worlds best fighters at any weight when a prolonged contractual spat with Top Rank supremo Bob Arum left him sidelined for more than two years.

Now the southern California native is back and better than ever.

The unbeaten 29-year-old from Oxnard solidified his pound-for-pound credentials on Saturday night in Brooklyn, delivering a master class in tactical pressure and ring generalship to win a unanimous decision over Adrien Broner before a crowd of 12,084 at Brooklyns Barclays Center. All three judges scored it for Garcia by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. (The Guardian had it 117-111.)

Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), whos held titles at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight, moved up to 140lbs for Saturdays non-title bout with no obvious matchup awaiting at junior welter. His opponent was the cocksure Broner, whos collected alphabet titles in four divisions and came down from welterweight for the occasion.

Indeed, Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) had lost before. Yes, hes traditionally looked like a star against middling opposition and ordinary against the elite, most notably in previous losses to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. But no one has ever looked as good against Broner as did Garcia on Saturday night.

Both men were cautious in the opening stages with Broner showing his trademark speed and movement on the outside, looking to stick and move and circle his opponent. But Garcia, who cut off the ring beautifully all night, began to close the distance from the third round, working behind the jab and picking up his activity.

Broner, who turned 28 this week, did nothing to earn his opponents respect. The consequences of that negligence proved dire.

By the middle rounds Garcia was in total control, walking his man down and making him pay with punishing diet of blows to the head and body. Even when Broner was in range, the Cincinnati native didnt let his hands go. And with good reason: whenever he did, Garcia was there to make him pay with a one-two combination.

Garcia, center, smiles and poses for photos after Saturdays victory. Photograph: Andres Kudacki/AP

Chants of Mi-key! Mi-key! cascaded down from the mezzanine as Garcia began to pour on the punishment in the eighth. Broner took the punches well, often shaking his head dismissively in response, but the pantomime rang increasingly hollow as the rounds continued to pile up in Garcias favor.

Broner persisted and tried to scratch out a strong finish in the 12th, but he was no match for Garcia and, ultimately, as gun-shy as the previous sessions. Garcia averaged 98 punches thrown in the final three rounds while Broner never threw more than 44 punches in any frame. When the final bell sounded Broner gingerly made his way to Garcias corner to congratulate his opponents team, already resigned to a fate the official announcement only made formal.

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. [Broner] is a great fighter who has great skills. I was the superior fighter tonight, said Garcia, who landed 244 of 783 punches (31%) compared to 125 of 400 for Broner (31%).

It was the timing, Ive always said I have very good timing. It is underestimated when you are outside the ring but once you get inside the ring with me, Im a step ahead.

After spending more than two years of his prime on the shelf, Garcia captured the WBCs version of the lightweight title in his second outing back earlier this year. That set the stage for Saturdays midsummer showcase. Now firmly back in the pound-for-pound discussion, hes hardly in the mood to waste any more time.

I feel strong, Garcia said. If theres an opportunity to come down to 135lbs for a good fight, Ill do that. If thats not available, we know boxing. I cant be waiting or sitting around or chasing anybody. Ill move on with my career at 140lbs or 147lbs.

Two and a half years off. There were a lot of questions. People wondered if my heart was still in it or if I would come back like before or if Id be motivated enough. Its nice to come back and show everybody that my hearts in it. Im hungrier than ever and Im probably better than every. We can see the results.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/30/mikey-garcia-adrian-broner-pound-for-pound

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