Three-division world champion Mikey Garcia kept his undefeated record intact with a dominant 12-round performance against four-division world champion Adrien Broner in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Saturday on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
In what could be considered one of the best performances of his career, Garcia (37-0, 30 KO’s) won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-111 and 116-112 twice.
“We trained for 10 weeks, we had a great training camp and great sparring, we knew it was going to be a tough fight,” Garcia said.
Garcia took the lead early on, showcasing fundamentally sound technique and backing Broner into the ropes midway through the second frame. A flurry of body shots put Broner in trouble in the second round. While Broner was able to stay on his feet, Garcia emerged with another round in his favor.
“I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up,” Garcia said. “Broner is a great fighter and he has great skills but I was the superior fighter tonight.”
Garcia showed a combination of jabs, power punches and body shots all night long. He cornered Broner on the ropes with a huge left hook halfway through the third frame, and backed him in to the ropes again with 39 seconds remaining in the round. While Broner showed some movement in the fourth round and hit Garcia with a succession of 1-2 combinations, Garcia’s bodywork kept Broner at bay.
“It was part of the strategy to be a little busier in this fight than in the fights I have previously had,” Garcia said.
Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) looked to get back in the fight as he started the eighth round with a succession of sharp combinations, however his lack of consistency couldn’t withstand Garcia’s phenomenal body shots and overall punch output. Through eight rounds, Garcia had thrown a total of 500 punches, while Broner had just thrown 291.
“It was a good fight at the end of the day, I come to fight I come to win and I put my heart on the line,” Broner said. “But it was Tom & Jerry; I had to catch the mouse.”
Although Garcia had amassed an early lead from the first three-quarters of the fight, Broner continued to walk through heavy fire from Garcia in an attempt to connect with a big punch and change the tide of the fight. While he was able to ignite the crowd and land several big punches over the final three rounds, none of it proved to be enough to slow down Garcia.
“It was my timing, I’ve always said I have very good timing,” said Garcia. “It is underestimated when you are outside the ring but once you get inside the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”
Undefeated Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) made his debut at 160-pounds with a stoppage of Argentine contender Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-5-2, 16 KOs) in the co-featured event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. The stoppage came at 2:13 of the fourth round after Charlo delivered a devastating left hook followed by a big right to end the fight.
Charlo, of Houston, Texas, dominated the pace from the beginning. He landed the sharper and more accurate punches throughout the fight, especially in the first round where he landed 50 percent of his power shots to Heiland’s 13 percent. Charlo’s straight right was his power weapon throughout the contest.
“I felt good at this weight. I was in good shape all camp,” said Charlo. “I just had to keep my composure in the ring. That’s always something I have to work on and I was able to do it.
“After I dropped him the first time they said he fell on top of his ankle. That’s just part of the boxing game. I had to just stay consistent and get the work done.”
Heiland, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, had issues with his left leg after injuring his knee in the first round. His discomfort was clear in his awkward footwork and lack of power behind his punches. Referee Benjy Esteves had the doctor examine him twice throughout the fight, once before the third round and then again before the fourth.
“I turned my left knee in the first round, but I did not want to give up,” said Heiland. “I tried to give it my all, but it was not my night. I had bad luck but I am going to work harder than ever to get back and get another opportunity to achieve my dream and win a world title.”
Charlo stayed focused on his game plan despite seeing his opponent injured. “Sometimes the injury can be a decoy, you never want to just jump in and think it’s part of his game plan,” Charlo said. “My coach told me to stay behind my jab like I did; continue to work and it’s going to come.”
With this win, Charlo becomes a mandatory challenger for the WBC Middleweight World Championship.
“I’m ready for anyone. I’m ready for whoever wants to fight me,” Charlo added. “Bring on the biggest names at 160. I’m the real Tommy Hearns. I feel it’s my turn and I’m going to go get it.”
Headlining the “SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Prelims,” heavyweight Jarrell Miller (19-0-1, 17 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., stopped former world title challenger Gerald Washington (18-2-1, 12 KOs) after eight-rounds.
Miller used his significant size advantage and effective power-punching to break down the former collegiate football player. Washington had some success early with his jab and body attack, but was not able to stay out of punching range of Miller
Washington surged in the sixth round with a series of power shots that staggered Miller, however the Brooklynite countered and further broke down Washington, who landed just 20% of his jabs overall.
Miller, who landed almost half of his power punches, continued the onslaught in the seventh and eight rounds, and while Washington was able to stay on his feet, he took enough punishment that his corner called the fight after the eighth round.
“I definitely felt the ring rust,” said Miller, who was making his third appearance on SHOWTIME. “Gerald was very tough. It was a very good fight that had me thinking. My power was there, but I couldn’t put it together the way I wanted to today.
“I took the hard way back coming in off of a layoff. Gerald definitely pushed me and motivated me. I had to rely on my brain and my power.
“I knew there would be a give and take in this fight. It’s one thing to fight when you have stamina, it’s another to fight when you’re tired. I was trying to outthink him.”
In the opening bout of “SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Prelims” on Facebook Live, Irish sensation Katie Taylor (6-0, 4 KOs) stopped Jasmine Clarkson (4-9) after three rounds of action in the latter fighter’s U.S. debut.
The Olympic Gold medalist was dominant from the outset, stalking her opponent around the ring and consistently trapping her in the corner. Taylor was effective with both hands and did most of her work to the head of Clarkson. After three rounds of damage, Clarkson’s corner stopped the bout and gave Taylor her first stateside win as a pro.
“It was a fantastic experience being my first time competing here in the U.S,” said Taylor. “There were definitely some nerves before the fight. It was great to go in there and get a stoppage.
“I hope that I made some fans tonight. I loved hearing the Irish fans in the crowd. I hope that there will be even more next time I fight here. The more fights I have here in the U.S. the better.
“I thought I performed pretty well. I definitely got caught with a few silly shots. I could have been cleaner but overall it was a good performance. I felt good and strong. I’ll be ready to get back in there as soon as possible.”
Additional action saw former world champion Rau’shee Warren (15-2, 4 KOs) earn a unanimous decision victory over former champion McJoe Arroyo (17-2, 8 KOs) and became the mandatory challenger for the IBF Junior Bantamweight World Title.
Warren attacked the body throughout the bout and landed the cleaner, more effective punches over the 12-round contest. The judges concurred and gave him the decision by scores of 118-10 and 117-111 twice.
“I would give myself a B+ for that performance,” said Warren. “I wanted to make sure to use my jab and I felt like it really helped me win the fight.
“I feel really good at this weight. Now it’s time for me to go get a strap. I haven’t been at this weight since the Olympics. I want to get these titles and then go down to 112 pounds for another title. First I want to take care of Jerwin Ancajas.”