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Adrien Broner vs Mikey Garcia: Hector Camacho shows us why AB might be relevant a while longer

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Showtime recently announced that Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KO) will face Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KO) on July 29.

They will meet in a scheduled 12-round bout at a catchweight of 140, and at a location to be named later.

A decisive underdog for the first time in his career, many believe Broner vs Garcia will initiate the "cashing out" process of the fighter dubbed AB.

Should Broner be silenced by Garcia will he ever be relevant to the sport again?

Let's cycle back to the 1990s...

Perhaps history will link AB to another charismatic, extraordinarily gifted star whose full potential was never realized due to the partying, boos, women and an overall lack of discipline outside the ring. 

Enter the great Hector Camacho of the 1980s and 90s.... Well, he wasn't as great as he could have been.

Known for his quickness, hand/foot coordination and technical brilliance inside the ring and his colorful antics outside it, the flamboyant Camacho never lacked style. Arrogant but supremely-skilled, his showboat, party-animal image made him one of the most controversial athletes in sports as he was often either adored or vilified by many in the boxing community.

And despite being a showman in every sense of the word, the Puerto Rican southpaw was an extraordinary fighter and one of the best in his era.

Nevertheless, his critics insist he squandered a great talent by allowing his boxing career to often take a backseat to his partying ways, which included drugs, alcohol, women and occasional run-ins with law enforcement.

Remind you of someone today?

Broner vs Garcia news
Date: July 29
Broadcast: Showtime

Division: Super lightweight
Titles: None
Rounds: 12

Perhaps the difference between two of boxing's most showy and controversial fighters in the last 40 years is that Camacho was more accomplished and likeable than Broner is today. After all, Hector boasted wins over the likes of Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini, Greg Haugen, Vinny Pazienza, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, 'Bazooka' Limon, Jose Luis Ramirez and Reyes Cruz. He also, of course, had wins over over-the-hill versions of Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

But many had thought his glorious run had come to an end when he lost a brutal, one-sided decision to Julio Cesar Chavez in 1994. But there was again, on boxing's biggest stage less than two years later, dropping another one-sided verdict to fellow countryman Felix Trinidad.

Camacho was certainly done, now, or so it seemed. 

Hector would go 15-0-1 in his next 16 fights against limited opponents before facing then 45-year-old legend Roberto Duran in one of the great bouts of 1996. That win was enough to lure an ancient 41-year-old Sugar Ray Leonard out of retirement to meet Hector in a PPV showdown of legends. Hector, of course, would easily defeat an outdated Leonard to set up one last superfight - a 12 round beatdown at the hands of Oscar De La Hoya in 1997.

Whether Adrien Broner will remain relevant should he lose to Garcia remains to be seen. Keep in mind, Camacho, despite getting beaten-up, managed to go the distance with a relatively still-young Chavez and prime versions of Trinidad and De La Hoya. 

That, in itself, was impressive.

Moreover, as previously stated, Hector was more accomplished than Adrien. Also, boxing was more popular in the U.S. in the 1990s than it is today.

… So, those who insist a Broner loss to Garcia next month would be the end of AB on the big stage certainly have a valid argument.

Nevertheless, should Broner lose to Garcia but not get too embarrassed, history suggests he might, after a string of subsequent wins, be able to become relevant enough to face one or two of the sport's powerbrokers on boxing's big stage in the coming years.

Adored and villified, controversial bad boys tend to draw.


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