When Showtime released its spring boxing schedule it made note at the end of the announcement that the network was also working on summer fights for Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia. Little did anyone know at the time, including the folks at Showtime, that they would face each other.
Showtime on Thursday announced that Broner, a former four-division world titleholder, and Garcia, a reigning lightweight titlist, will square off on July 29. They will meet in a scheduled 12-round bout at a catch weight of 140 pounds at a site to be determined, Showtime said. Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, is the likely site.
Garcia will move up five pounds for the nontitle bout. Broner was stripped of his junior welterweight world title the day before a defense against Ashley Theophane 14 months ago because he could not make weight but agreed to return to junior welterweight for the fight.
Broner’s last fight, a 10-round split decision in his hometown of Cincinnati against Adrian Granados on Feb. 18, was at the 147-pound welterweight limit. The weight was increased a couple of weeks before the fight because Broner was having trouble cutting weight.
Last week, Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza told ESPN that the fight was being discussed but that weight was a major obstacle and far from being a done deal.
They were able to overcome the weight question by getting Broner to agree to come down to 140 pounds, even though recent photos of him — as he was being sent to jail for three days last month — showed that he was clearly not remotely close to that weight.
Broner, who has had numerous legal problems and been jailed repeatedly, spent three days in Kenton County, Kentucky, for an outstanding warrant for disorderly conduct from an incident at a Kenton County bar in 2014.
Nonetheless, the highly intriguing fight is on and Espinoza, who has been delivering one strong card after another, was happy to see it finalized.
“Showtime Sports continues to deliver the most anticipated matchups, the most important events and the most thrilling fights in boxing,” he said. “We consistently feature top-rated champions and challengers. The best are fighting the best and the results have been spectacular. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is a fight that fight fans have dreamed of — an undefeated, young star facing one of the best 140-pound fighters in the sport, both men in the prime of their respective careers. July 29 promises to be a memorable night in a year already full of memorable boxing events.”
Broner (33-2, 24 KOs), 27, of Cincinnati, has won world titles as a junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight while also being one of boxing’s most polarizing figures. Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), 29, of Moreno Valley, California, one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best, has won world titles in three divisions — featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight. He claimed a lightweight world title with a crushing third-round knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin on Jan. 28 in Las Vegas.