BOXING

Welterweight Wins For Adrien Broner, Lamont Peterson

 Adrien Broner Fends Off Adrian Granados By Split Decision

Adrien Broner had enough in him to beat Adrian Granados. It’s uncertain whether he’ll be able to do the same against the best fighters in the welterweight division.

Broner topped Granados by split decision this past Saturday in his hometown of Cincinnati. Two judges had it 97-93 (seven rounds to three) and 96-94 (six rounds to four) for Broner, while the third had Granados ahead 97-93, giving him seven rounds and Broner just three.

It was an enjoyable fight between two friends and former sparring partners who didn’t let their familiarity with each other get in the way of good action. It helped that Granados is a hungry scrapper who could’ve used the victory to springboard to greater things.

It also may have helped that Broner injured his left hand in the first round and is inconsistent in the ring even when he’s 100 percent healthy, often allowing motivated opponents to get shots in.

Granados brought blood from Broner’s nose by the end of the first round. He was the more active fighter. Broner, meanwhile, sought to land hard counters and single shots with accuracy and emphasis, then would tie up to buy himself time. The rounds were close enough that the split decision wasn’t at all a surprise. Broner is now 33-2 with 24 KOs.

Granados believed he deserved better. Each of his defeats — mostly to familiar names like Frankie Gomez, Felix Diaz, Brad Solomon and now Broner — have come by split decision or majority decision. There also are two draws on his record. He’s now 18-5-2. Don’t let that record fool you. He’s not great, but he was good enough to dismantle rising prospect Amir Imam back in 2015 and to hold his own against Broner. He’ll likely head back down to the 140-pound weight class.
This fight was supposed to take place at 142, after all, only for Broner to use his negotiating leverage to have the weight limit changed to 147. Broner was a 140-pound titleholder as of a year ago — his fourth weight class in which he’s held a belt, after reigns at 130, 135 and 147 — but failed to make weight against Ashley Theophane and dropped his title at the scales.

His last stint at welterweight was short-lived, starting with a title victory over Paulie Malignaggi and then ending with an embarrassing loss at the hands of Marcos Maidana. Broner’s never beaten a top welterweight. The fight against Granados won’t convince anyone that he can.

 

Lamont Peterson Returns With Decision Over David Avanesyan

Lamont Peterson was once one of the better junior welterweights in the world, though he fell short against the top fighters. Now he is trying to start anew at welterweight.

Peterson made his entry into the division this past Saturday with a unanimous decision over David Avanesyan. The victory put him in position to challenge the winner of the upcoming unification fight between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, though there are plenty of other names that could be possible.

 

“I want to fight anyone in the welterweight division right now,” Peterson said.

Though he won’t admit it, Peterson is making up for lost time. He hadn’t been seen in the ring since 2015, in two fights that took place above the 140-pound weight limit but below the welterweight limit of 147. In one fight, he gave away early rounds by boxing against Garcia, then took it to Garcia down the stretch, only to come up short on the scorecards. Later on that year, Peterson battled through bad cramps to win a controversial decision over Felix Diaz.

That was the last we saw of Peterson for 16 months. He’s now 33 years old, still young enough to fight at a high level but old enough that he shouldn’t wait too long to face other high-level fighters.

Avanesyan wasn’t one of them. He was a capable contender, yet his biggest win had come against an ancient Shane Mosley. Avanesyan had good moments and held his own in exchanges with Peterson. Peterson’s body shots and work on the inside proved to be superior.

 

“I expected to put pressure on him the way I did,” Peterson said afterward. “I didn’t think he would fight back as hard as he did.”

Two judges had Peterson winning 116-112, or eight rounds to four, while the third had it 115-113, or seven rounds to five.

“I thought that I was landing my punches more cleanly while his punches were being blocked,” Avanesyan said afterward.  “Lamont is very good, but I thought the judges were impressed with his movement, but I had the power.”

Peterson is now 35-3-1 with 17 KOs. The win earned him the WBA’s “regular” world title, though the WBA also has a “super” world title that currently belongs to Thurman.  Other potential fights include rematches with Amir Khan and Diaz, as well as a bout with Shawn Porter, among others.

“I took some steps forward tonight,” Peterson said. “We’re looking to get back in camp and keep moving.”

Avanesyan is now 22-2-1 with 11 KOs. His other defeat came in his second pro fight.

Marcus Browne Stops Thomas Williams Jr. in Fight Marred by a Foul

Marcus Browne looked much better Saturday night than he did his last time in the ring. But those who already disliked the light heavyweight contender will feel as if he once again didn’t deserve a victory.

Last April, Browne appeared to lose convincingly to Radivoje Kalajdzic but somehow still wound up on the better end of a split decision. This past weekend, he scored a technical knockout over Thomas Williams Jr. but appeared to benefit from an egregious foul.

In the second round, Browne knocked Williams down with a jab. Williams had a glove down and was kneeling on the canvas. Browne followed up with a left hand that landed flush and hard on the side of Williams’ head. Williams fell forward, hurt far more by that punch than by the one that originally put him down.

“He didn’t look like he went down, so I made sure he went down,” Browne said in a post-fight interview.

Williams took time to recover. Browne didn’t need much time to hurt him again, catching him with left hand after left hand. Williams took those shots and tried to battle back. Plenty of what he threw fell short. Browne handled the rest.

Browne wobbled Williams again in the fourth. Later on in the round, Williams had Browne on the ropes and was landing to the body. He left himself wide open, though, and Browne capitalized with a right hook that put Williams down for the second time on the night. Williams got up by the count of nine and said he wanted to continue. He wouldn’t get to continue for much longer.

The fight ended in the sixth, when Browne landed a right hook and Williams went down once more, listening as the referee counted to 10. That was a wise choice. Williams soon went to the hospital with a hurt jaw. He tweeted that he never really recovered from the shot that landed while he was down in the second.

Williams is now 20-3 with 14 KOs. This is his second straight loss. He was taken out in four rounds last year by 175-pound champion Adonis Stevenson, though he at least gave Stevenson some tough moments.

Browne, who is now 19-0 with 14 KOs, called out Stevenson afterward. He should take on another fighter who’ll give him a good test first.

By David Greisman

David Greisman
About the Author:

David Greisman.

David Greisman is an award-winning boxing writer based out of Washington, D.C., who has covered the sport since 2004. He is the senior staff writer and “Fighting Words” columnist for BoxingScene.com and a reporter for The Ring magazine. Greisman is the author of the book “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing.”
Follow on Twitter @fightingwords2

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