Thursday, 27 July 2017 01:41

Broner vs Garcia prediction: Leonard vs Hearns 2 all over again?

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Once believed to be boxing's next big thing, Adrien Broner has floundered since his December 2013 loss to Marcos Maidana.

He's lost to Shawn Porter and has often looked less-than-spectacular in bouts that were presumed supposed showcases. Moreover, his life outside of boxing often spiraled out of control.

The only constants for Adrien Broner have been drama and controversy. Thus, it's no surprise he's a solid underdog for his showdown with the freakishly-skilled Mikey Garcia on Saturday night.

Will Broner regain his status as one of the most relevant fighters in boxing?

Most seem to think the Garcia fight will be the proverbial 'nail in the coffin'for Broner's flailing career. However, others are insisting the 27-year-old fighter dubbed AB will thrust himself back onto the road to super stardom by proving the naysayers wrong.

For instance, Leonard Ellerbe, CEO for Mayweather Promotions and a former amateur heavyweight, insists Saturday's version of Broner will shock the boxing world. Ellerbe believes Broner is operating at another level these days and is using Team Garcia's unflattering remarks and years widespread criticism by fans and media to fuel his motivation and desire for redemption.

“I’m really, really looking forward to this fight and have been for quite some time,” Ellerbe told co-hosts Gerry Cooney and Randy Gordon during SiriusXM’s most recent episode of “At the Fights” on Monday night.

“And I’m really looking forward to it because I’m of the mindset I love to see an underdog rise to the occasion. And in this particular case, I’m very confident that’s what’s gonna happen Saturday night. Adrien Broner’s a big underdog coming into Saturday night, and I expect him to prove all the naysayers wrong.”

“Mikey Garcia’s gonna bring out the best in Adrien Broner because I know firsthand how Adrien feels about this particular fight,” Ellerbe said.

“It’s business, but it’s also personal because there’s been a lot of disrespectful things that have been said throughout the promotion, where there have been certain media members, along with the Garcia camp, that said that it’s not gonna be too difficult of a fight, that he’s a better boxer than Broner, and I think some of these things Adrien has used for that bulletin-board material."

"And I expect him to go out Saturday night and really put the exclamation point to this fight come Saturday night.”

Without predicting how Adrien would win, Ellerbe is guaranteeing the upset.

And to Ellerbe's point, fighters who truly believe they've been disrespected and have something to prove can successfully use that rage to their advantage while preparing during the weeks and months leading up to the fight.

Motivation is key in any endeavor, especially boxing. And nothing motivates a fighter more than an intense desire to prove himself.

Broner vs Garcia news
Date: July 29
Broadcast: Showtime

Division: Super lightweight
Titles: None
Rounds: 12

Leonard vs Hearns 2
Remember the rematch between boxing titans Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns in 1989? Hearns, a big underdog, had never lost the bitterness that followed his loss to Leonard eight years prior. Moreover, the media was relentless in its criticism of Hearns. Some said he couldn't win the big fights while others insisted he was shopworn and would be incapable of posing any threat to Leonard.

Very few boxers have wanted to win a fight as much as Hearns wanted to win his return match with Leonard; And Thomas, fueled by an intense motivation for redemption, threw himself into training like he'd never done before.

In that fight, Thomas would floor Leonard twice and survive a hellacious beating in Round 5 to earn a draw in what became RING Magazine's 1989 Fight of the Year. (Incidentally, most thought Herans deserved to win)

Did Hearns fight above himself that night? Perhaps...

But Thomas would not be denied that evening, knowing his rematch with Ray would be a defining moment in his career.

He wanted to prove he wasn't washed-up and that he deserved consideration as one of the greats of his era.

While today's version of Broner is not as accomplished as Hearns was when the latter faced Leonard in their rematch, AB will be in a somewhat similar circumstance Saturday night.

Don't be surprised if we see a much better version of Broner than many of us are expecting.

Leroy Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.