It’s put up or shut up time for Adrien Broner this Saturday against Jessie Vargas, live on Showtime at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Can Vargas hand Broner back to back losses or will Adrien step up to the plate and revive his career? No matter the outcome this 50-50 main event should give fans something to cheer about. Heavy-hitters Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis return to fill out the undercard portion of the telecast.
We’ve heard it all before and on numerous occasions, Adrien Broner swearing up and down that he’s going to make changes to his life outside of the ring. Time after time, Broner somehow falls short as a 100% dedicated fighter, greatly affecting his performance on fight night.
You never really know which Broner will show up. Will it be the fast-handed, good work rate, and combination punching Adrien? Or will stamina issues keep him from letting his hands go, instead spoiling the action?
When in shape, Broner is a talented guy who makes entertaining fights and takes on challenges. Fans can have any opinion they want on Broner, but signing on to a replacement opponent as quality as Jessie Vargas should be respected. It saved the card outright and the fans have responded per Lou Dibella, who are co-promoting the show.
It will be very interesting to see if the 144-pound catchweight will have any effects on Jessie Vargas. Jessie had been searching out a big fight nearly landing Keith Thurman, but are we totally sure what kind of shape he was in at the start of training camp seven weeks out? Those last remaining pounds could be the difference in the second half of the fight.
Without disrespecting either fighter, neither guy has produced a stellar outing in step-up moments. Beyond Vargas’s upset as a live dog to Sadam Ali, which to be fair, was closer to a pick’em type fight on paper. Looking back at Vargas vs. Ali, Jessie certainly won decisively in the end, however he did get hit with lots of punches. Many make a mountain out of a molehill pertaining to the last round against Timothy Bradley. Credit to Vargas for being able to land a huge right hand late in a fight, but Vargas was beaten soundly.
Even as this hack-of-a-scribe finishes this prediction article I’m totally stuck as to who will come out the winner. It could be a case of us feeling that Jessie did enough but still coming up short on the scorecards. Maybe a temporary rejuvenated Broner shows up fully prepared and his old combo punching style is on display.
Regardless of the outcome, this main event should be very competitive throughout the 12 rounds. Don’t get me wrong, surely there will be some slow moments, but considering the stakes for both men, we should get a barnburner. The only way it turns into a stinker is if Vargas hurts Broner early and begins to dominate. If so Broner may go into a hit and hold mode.
Jessie Vargas and his team have talked about bringing the pressure to Adrien Broner. As we know the constant pressure is kryptonite to the Ohio native. But it’s not like Vargas is a career come-forward fighter. That’s not to say he’s not capable, he just can’t lose sight of his skills.
His long jab to set up a left hook to the head or body, not to mention his Sunday-punch the straight right, mixed with lateral movement could be a nightmare for Broner. That said, pressure could definitely work, but if he gets careless as he did at times with Vargas, Bradley, and Josesito Lopez, Broner will make him pay for it.
Hand speed and an adjustment period will favor Broner in the opening frames. Once Vargas gets a good read on which Broner showed up to the ring, then we will see a more aggressive Jessie. Vargas will carry the middle rounds but there will be two-way moments. Broner will no doubt (if in shape, a huge IF) try to steal rounds via quick combination punching in a 30-second window. Vargas must respond and try to land a counter punch as they exchange, a key to overtaking and ultimately stopping Sadam Ali.
It could be stated that a win for Broner is a good thing for boxing considering his high profile name. Obviously, AB is the house fighter so we can assume every close round will be given to the bigger commodity. Although most of the viewing public will think Vargas did enough to win, Broner can win 4 or 5 clear rounds, which in boxing politics is plenty to secure the ‘W’.
My Official Prediction is Adrien Broner by Spilt-Decision.
Gervonta Davis and Jermall Charlo both return as part of the Saturday’s Showtime Tripleheader.
Davis looks to be more focused than his last outing, in which Gervonta missed weight and underwhelmed as the co-feature to Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. Tank is facing a tough and powerful guy in Jesus Cuellar. Let’s hope that Cuellar backs up his tough talk about making this bout a brawl. If so, we could get some serious fireworks because Gervonta will not back down.
Jermall Charlo and his twin brother are peaking at the moment, both inside and outside of the ring. Standing in Charlo’s way is Hugo Centeno, a fighter who has been inconsistent in his career, making it kind of hard to get a read on him.
As a rising prospect, Centeno looked the part until he faced Julian Williams. Although the fight was stopped short due to a cut, it was clear Hugo wasn’t on the same level as JRock. Those holes in his game were further exposed by Maciej Sulecki, getting stopped in the 10th. Hugo bounced back last August with a highlight-reel knockout over Immanuwel Aleem. This could turn out to be action-packed while it lasts and by the way, look out for a counter shot possibly via uppercut to end it all.
My Official Predictions Jermall Charlo by 7th round KO and Gervonta Davis by late technical-knockout.
Side Note: During the afternoon in the States, keep an eye out for Carl Frampton vs. Nonito Donaire on Showtime’s Facebook & YouTube pages. Can a faded Donaire turn back the clock and beat 2016 fighter of the year Carl Frampton? Can Nonito use his 6-inch reach advantage and do enough on the outside? Will Frampton return to form after two mediocre performances? It’s a battle of high-level skill live on BT Sports in the U.K. at SSE Arena in Belfast.
My Official Prediction is Carl Frampton by Unanimous Decision.