Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados fight prediction, start time, TV channel, card, expert picks, odds
A pair of top welterweights meet up on Saturday night in Carson, California with plenty on the line
When comparing the names, resumes and skills of the top welterweight fighters of today with previous eras, it's not hard to summarize that we are entering historic times for the 147-pound division.
Former two-division champion Danny Garcia knows that all too well and certainly has his sights set on opportunities against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr., or in big-money rematches against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Garcia also considers himself the division's top dog from a brand standpoint, at the moment, and has both television and attendance ratings holstered up to share with any who disagree.
So for Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs), whose only losses have come via razor-thin decision in title bouts against Thurman and Porter, to return to the biggest stage just seven months removed from suffering defeat, he knows an impressive showing on Saturday will be dire when he headlines a Premier Boxing Champions card (Fox, 8 p.m. ET) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Garcia, 31, certainly expects a hungry challenge when he faces come-forward welterweight Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) at the outdoor arena, formerly known as StubHub Center, that has routinely produced one all-action fight after another over the past decade.
"You know what I bring to the table, I always bring fireworks, speed, power, entertainment, blood and guts," Garcia said. "So I prepare myself for a classic fight. I train hard for 10 weeks straight and I'm ready to go in there and show the world who's one of the best and why this fight's a fight to watch."
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The fuel behind Granados' hard-luck hunger is how often the 29-year-old Chicago native has come up on the wrong side of the decision in close fights. Through six defeats and two draws in 28 pro bouts, one could argue Granados has only been convincingly defeated once, with many of said fights having created disputed (if not controversial) reactions.
"I know that I'm known for putting on great fights and just coming up short," Granados said. "Whether it is over a controversial decision or any other controversy. So yeah, I mentioned it to [Mayweather Promotions CEO] Leonard Ellerbe. I'm tired of it. So I'm definitely going out there to put on a dominating performance, and I know I have a hard work ahead of me so definitely I'm ready for the task at hand.
"Well, just plain and simple, I got to take it out of the judge's hands. If I get Danny hurt then I'm definitely going to step on the gas and try to get them out and if not, I'll just have to put on a dominating performance."
Although Garcia respects Granados' heart, he has been very vocal about the difference in class between him and his opponent entering Saturday. He has also enlisted the help of a new nutritionist to avoid any form of a late fade considering he knows Granados will be aggressively stalking for as long as the fight lasts.
"As a fighter, he has to be confident, but in reality, I faced the biggest punchers in the game, I faced the most, the fastest and strongest, some of the best fighters in the game and I've never been down in my career," Garcia said. "That's just to show you how hard I work in the gym."
Also on the card, heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. makes his return to the ring when he squares off against Alexander Dimitrenko. Ruiz Jr. is 31-1 in his pro career with the lone loss coming against former WBO champion Joseph Parker. He hopes to one day be the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.
Plus, it's the return of Brandon Figueroa when he challenges Yonfrez Parejo for the WBA interim super bantamweight title. Figueroa (18-0) has knocked out his last five opponents successively with his last the most impressive in a dismantling of Moises Flores in Round 3 in January.
Danny Garcia -1600
|Adrian Granados +800|
Andy Ruiz Jr. -2000
|Alexander Dimitrenko +800|
Brandon Figueroa -5000
|Yonfrez Parejo +1200|
WBA interim super bantamweight title
With an elite chin, top-shelf power in his left hook and a sometimes underrated fight IQ as a traditional boxer, there aren't many avenues to defeat Garcia unless you can best him in each of those respected categories. That's why Garcia's only defeats have come against the very elite in the sport.
If there is a blueprint, however, on how one might stay close to Garcia, his one weakness has been a lack of elite foot speed, which fighters from Thurman and Porter to Lamont Peterson and Mauricio Herrera in close defeats have done a great job exploiting.
Granados is an aggressive fighter with a bit more craft than a typical journeyman brawler. The problem is that he's a bit of a tweener and lacks both elite speed to be more of a slick boxer or fight-altering power to be a threat to knock Garcia out.
One thing Garcia should expect is high-paced fight for as long as the fight goes and Granados, who has never been stopped, has built a reputation upon being durable. But he's a bit undersized at 147 pounds and has never fought a puncher the caliber of Garcia, whose left hook has become one of the closest things in boxing to being called a finishing move.
If Garcia can time his counter shots to discipline Granados and give him pause on so recklessly coming forward, the tenor of the fight can quickly change in his favor. Defense has never been a huge calling card for Granados and he will likely find himself outgunned should this turn into a toe-to-toe battle.
Given Granados' hunger, however, and the fact that this has all the makings to be a defining fight in his career should he pull the upset, one can expect the best version of him we have ever seen. That could be enough to get him to the finish line provided he doesn't get to careless but it likely isn't enough to lift him to anything more.
Pick: Garcia via UD12
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