CINCINNATI, OH — A barrage of accurate hooks in the last 30 seconds turned out to be the difference for Adrien Broner, who won a close split decision over Adrian Granados in a back and forth 10-round war of attrition.
This was a highly entertaining fight with neither man holding an advantage for more than one round. Hell, sometimes barely 30 seconds in a round. In the end, Broner showed his usual mixed bag of promise and alarming trends for his immediate future.
EARLY VERSATILITY: The first three rounds displayed a Broner who was accurate with his counters and not a sitting target. Instead of previous Mayweather shoulder roll imitations, he showed nimble footwork to evade Granados’s long right hand. On the inside, he ripped counter uppercuts and looked sharp despite being outworked in pockets.
STILL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH PRESSURE: Much like his efforts against Maidana and Porter, Broner is still wilts under constant pressure. He spent too much time grappling and holding (with little warning from the hometown ref). But unlike Porter, Granados was not passive in the clinches and ripped home body shots in every round. Those shots had Broner visibly weary in the late rounds.
CONTROVERSIAL SCORECARDS: The judges scored the bout 97-93, 93-97 and 96-94 for Broner. The last scorecard had Broner winning the 10th, and that likely came down to Broner scoring several hard hooks in the final seconds despite Granados controlling most of the round and forcing clinches.
Personally, I had it 95-95 with Granados taking two of the last three rounds. I had the Chicago native taking rounds 2, 4, 5, 8, and 10. I gave Broner rounds 1, 3, 6, 7, and 9. The two scorecards that had it 7-3 in rounds for each guy felt too wide.
WELTERWEIGHT FOOD: Unable to make 140, Broner’s camp was able to switch this to 147 in the final weeks. The problem for Broner is he’s now a fighter without weight class. Perhaps now too big to safely make junior welter, and too small to successfully challenge the elite at 147, as evidenced by the sound defeats to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana, and close decision wins over Paulie Malignaggi and now Adrian Granados.
Should Broner continue testing his luck at 147, or has this fight convinced you he’s better suited for 140? Sound off in the comments.