This Saturday night in Carson, California, Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) will square off against Adrian Granados (20-6, 14 KOs) live on Fox. It will be Garcia’s first fight since dropping a split decision to Shawn Porter (30-2, 17 KOs) last September. It was Garcia’s second attempt at claiming the coveted WBC welterweight title but he fell just short in a tightly contested fight.
On the other hand, Adrian Granados is coming off a stoppage win over Adalberto Borquez (29-19-1, 26 KOs) that also took place last September. It was a bounce back win for Granados, whose last loss came to Shawn Porter back in 2017. It was a competitive fight in which Granados vastly surpassed expectations, taking the fight to Porter but dropping a unanimous decision.
We now find ourselves at a cross-roads fight in which Danny Garcia will attempt to defeat the gritty Granados to set himself up for a bigger fight next, possibly against one of the PBC titleholders. Granados will attempt to win the biggest fight in his career to leapfrog himself into title contention as well. It is a high-stakes fight for both men, but who will come away with the win? Let’s take a look at some keys to victory.
Danny Garcia is the favorite in this fight and it is easy to see why. Garcia is a fighter with solid fundamentals who is at his best when his opponent pushes forward, giving him the opportunity to hit counter shots. He is particularly dangerous in the exchange where his patented left hook has knocked down guys like Amir Khan and Erik Morales. Garcia does well when he enters his rhythm, mixing both head and body shots. He does, however, have glaring flaws in his game. Should the opponent decide to implement a defensive game plan to box and move, Garcia has found it difficult to cut off the ring and land his shots. Garcia is a fighter who needs to set before throwing his punches, unlike other fights who hit shots as they move. Thankfully for him, Granados is likely to bring the fight to Garcia and will be more than willing to exchange punches. So what must Garcia do to win?
- Work the body early. Granados is extremely tenacious and has a solid gas tank, throwing punches till the final bell. It would be in Garcia’s best interest to work the body early on to take away some of those flurries and set himself up for the later rounds.
- Look for the ‘no look’ left hook. Granados is a fighter who is happy to exchange at close and mid-range, and Garcia will have many opportunities to land his patented punch.
- Don’t get into an unnecessary brawl. Garcia is the better boxer, at least on paper, and it would serve him well to use those skills. He should look for counter right rooks, and work off a jab.
Granados is one of the most entertaining fights in the sport today. He is not afraid to bite down on his mouthpiece and throw shots, whether its against world champions like Shawn Porter or rising prospects like Amir Imam. His fight against Imam is his biggest win to date. He got off the canvas early on to outwork Imam as the fight progressed, battering him on route to an 8th round TKO. He has fought as low as 140 pounds to as high as 154 facing some of the biggest names in boxing, and being very competitive in nearly every one of his high-profile matches. Needless to say, he is at his best when he is on the front foot throwing combinations and out-working his opponent. Whether it’s uppercuts, hooks or straights punches, Granados does not discriminate. He throws from all angles and both to the body and head. He has also shown the ability to box off the back foot at times, using all of his 74 inch reach to hit his opponent with jabs before quickly stepping in and landing combos. So what exactly must he do win this fight ?
- Try to work the body early. Danny Garcia hasn’t always shown to have the best gas tank, and working the body early on could pay dividends for Granados as the fight progresses.
- Use his jab and fight off the back foot at times. Granados will have a 5 inch reach advantage in this fight and as I said previously, has shown the ability to fight off the back foot from time to time and pepper his opponents with a long jab. Garcia is particularly notorious for struggling when his opponents decide to box and move, and using this strategy could open up shots for Granados as Garcia attempts to move forward.
- Increase the pace and output as the rounds progress. Granados loves to throw punches in bunches but that might not serve him well early on when Garcia will be fresh and looking to land his left hook. Instead, an early investment to the body followed by a gradual increase in punch output could work in his favor, as Garcia tends to tire in some fights. Granados can go all day and should seek to take this fight into deep waters.
I expect Granados to be competitive in this fight, as he is in every one of his bouts. However, the stylistic matchup favors Garcia. I’m not sure if Granados can prevent himself from marching forward from the start and put the pressure on Garcia. Garcia has almost always done well against opponents who choose this strategy. I expect him to find openings and hit Granados with sharp counters. I believe he will find a home for his left hook. I also expect Granados to outwork Garcia in several rounds and make it gritty fight until the final bell. However, it will not be enough for him to get the win.
Danny Garcia wins a unanimous decision 116-112 x2 117-115