Adrien Broner promised a new A.B., but he was still the same guy as always Saturday night on Showtime: a physical talent who looks like he’ll never deliver on his promise, as he nearly lost to a less-talented grinder, Adrian Granados.
At least this kind of Broner ensures we get solid action. Broner won a split decision in a back-and-forth bout where Broner’s sporadic flashier, flusher connects contended with Granados’ work rate and own occasional big shots. The scorecards read 97-93, 93-97 and 96-94 for Broner. This writer scored it a draw.
Broner moved the weight around beforehand, making this a full welter bout, and Granados vented about the switch afterward. Whatever Broner says about steadying his tumultuous personal life, it apparently didn’t translate to the kind of dedication in camp that allowed him to make weight like a pro.
Granados did show he could hang with an elite talent, and that he belongs in the mix at 140-147 pounds as a good opponent who could, with some improvements and some breaks, develop into a real contender.
Broner is, at this point, Broner. That’s a bad thing in some ways and a good thing in others.
On the undercard, Lamont Peterson made his own move at 147, and did a very Lamont Peterson thing: made the fight closer than it needed to be, and therefore made the evaluation of whether he could be a player at welterweight a borderline call.
To be fair, David Avanesyan showed he was more than just a guy who beat a decrepit Shane Mosley. He outworked Peterson early, and while Peterson has never been a hot starter, it showed intelligence to take advantage of the tactical opening. Peterson didn’t look especially fast or powerful at welter to start, but he also had some ring rust.
Peterson heated up as the fight went on, and his body attack started to resemble its old viciousness. Yet Avanesyan, aside from the occasional step back during a particularly savage sequence, was mostly able to hang on the inside with Peterson, where Peterson tends to flourish.
It wasn’t enough for Avanesyan to avert taking the unanimous decision loss, but it was enough to say, “Sure, let’s see him again sometime.” What began a slow affair ended up as a pretty decent scrap.
Peterson says he wants the winner of Danny Garcia vs Keith Thurman. This wasn’t enough to prove he deserved it. But a win over a proven contender would.
To kick off the televised card, Marcus Browne stopped Thomas Williams, Jr. in a bout marred by bad refereeing and Williams’ apparent physical decline. Williams has been in a number of rough-and-tumble light heavyweight bouts lately and his legs, timing and judgment of distance all were bad. Browne was pretty sharp, especially in contrast, scoring knockdowns in the 2nd, 4th and finally the 6th.
Browne flirted with disqualification after the 2nd round knockdown by hitting Williams while he was down, but the ref instead counted Williams out, then changed his mind, deducted Browne a point and let Williams recover. The ref then made a weird decision that he was going to start a new round, before being informed there was half a 2nd round left to go. OK.
Browne says he wants Adonis Stephenson. Sure, why not. Stephenson, the disappointing lineal champ, has shown zero substantial interest in challenging the other best fighters in the division, instead taking on the likes of Browne — people who are defensible as opponents in other circumstances.
On a free preview weekend and with the card airing on Twitter, this put more eyes than usual on the sport. The card started poorly, but got better the deeper it went. We’ll see if it’s enough to make any kind of difference.