On Saturday afternoon, streaming live on DAZN, Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington meet in a rematch from a shocking win for Lara early this year. Another interesting matchup that could be close in the closing frames is Conor Benn versus Adrian Granados. These fights, plus Katie Taylor in action, should give Matchroom Sports & DAZN some much-needed positive vibes to start the fall season.
In February, Mauricio Lara pulled off a high-profile upset by not just beating Josh Warrington; he broke him down, scoring an impressive stoppage. From its sounds, Josh Warrington is fully focused in training camp as he embarks on a crucial point in his career. Normally a fighter that relies on wearing opponents down as the fight gets into the deep waters, Warrington will have to be more cognitive of incoming fire, especially on the inside when the fighters exchange. What this hardcore fight fan finds intriguing heading into this rematch is wondering if Josh Warrington can be a smarter, more patient boxer. It’s easy for us to say from the sidelines Josh will need to use his boxing skills, but what exactly does that equate to when facing Mauricio’s type of style?
Not known for his power Warrington usually serves a slow and steady beat down as he pressures forward with a somewhat face-first gameplan. That intensity, of course, will still need to be there for Josh. He must be able to take a step to the side or half a step back instead of just steamrolling ahead to slug it out with Lara. Although this boxing podcaster believes Josh can use a more disciplined approach, will it be as effective as his bread and butter way of fighting?
On the Lara side of things, he doesn’t really need to change much. Mauricio made every punch count, whether it was to the body or head. Lara did a great job returning fire after getting hit and mixed up his offense very well. At times throwing one hard shot at a time but also putting his combinations together. It could be almost a replica of the first fight if Josh doesn’t fight differently. My guess is he will last all 12-rounds and win more moments of each round than last time but ultimately will get beat up and dropped at some point. Lara will be the one who lands the more powerful cleaner shots overall.
My Official Prediction is Mauricio Lara by Split-Decision.
Conor Benn vs. Adrian Granados is another opportunity for both men to show their worth in this fighting game. Granados is perfect opposition for the 24-year old Benn as his handlers guide him towards the deep end of the pool, where the sharks will attack even without blood in the water. However, the inside/outside game Granados is capable of could clue us in on the ceiling of a still somewhat raw prospect in Conor Benn.
This welterweight bout was originally planned to headline the 2nd installment of “Fight Camp” in the backyard of his promoter Eddie Hearn. However, Conor tested positive for Covid-19, and the fight was pushed back. Benn is coming off a destructive TKO knockout in the 1st round over the more experienced boxer in Samuel Vargas. Although it was to be expected Benn would win the fight, the nature of how the quick stoppage was impressive. Benn used a solid jab and followed it up with numerous hard and fast straight right hands. Adding a hook and uppercut to his barrage of punches made for an easy night, relatively speaking, of course. Benn easily outpointed a somewhat game Sebastian Formella before that outing, who had recently made it the full 12-rounds with former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter.
No doubt Benn’s opponent this Saturday afternoon will be a step up in class, facing a versatile boxer with a great fighting spirit in Adrian Granados. Clearly, when Granados competes at the 147-pound division, it doesn’t suit him as well. The only opponent he had sustained success against at that weight is Adrian Broner. Don’t get me wrong, competing with a Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia is still very respectable. Granados last good showing came in a loss at 140 to Robert Easter Jr. In May, Granados limped to a majority-draw with Jose Luis Sanchez. Granados has a 74-inch reach and can’t afford to fall into the trap of brawling from the jump. This podcaster believes will see a motivated Adrian who will use his reach and underrated boxing skills.
That’s not to say he should operate on the outside the whole fight. Once he finds his timing and range, he can bring the fight to Benn, who will clearly be on the ‘A’ side. It will be interesting to see Conor’s mindset in this matchup coming off a 1st round knockout. Will he get overly confident and look for another splashy stoppage? If Benn takes his time and stays within himself, he should get his hand raised even in a competitive fight. Granados will have to focus on staying busy and finish every round strong. Obviously, a knockout is the only for sure way to get the victory on the road.
Granados was allotted enough time to prepare from the sounds of it, which is a key and the best bet to pull the upset. Speaking of upset, my fellow degenerates who believe Granados is a step too far at this point in Conor Benn’s career, I have good news for you. Adrian can be had as a live dog anywhere, ranging from +700 all the way up to +1100. If this fight were at junior welterweight, it would likely have me picking Granados. That said, if Granados can find the early success, he will be in this fight until the final bell. If Conor walks through Granados, this boxing head will give him a respectful tip of the cap. The age of 31 for Adrian is misleading from all the punishment he’s received in this brutal sport we love. Wear and tear could have already caught up to Granados, so it’s difficult to pick him as the victor outright. Look for this to be a back and forth affair that gives Benn the true test he needs to continue his journey up the ladder of a deep 147-pound division. My pick may not reflect the official judge’s scorecards, but we could walk away from this one thinking it was a close fight anywhere from 8-4 to quite possibly 6-6.
My Official Prediction is Conor Benn by Majority Decision.
Side Note: Keep an eye on Katie Taylor vs. Jennifer Han on DAZN. Plus, the PBC on FOX returns on Sunday with a prospect versus veteran-themed card featuring standout prospect Jesus Ramos vs. Brian Mendoza, Starling Castillo vs. Juan Carlos Burgos, and Armando Resendiz vs. Marcos Hernandez.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Com Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio