By Keith Idec
Adrian Granados isn’t basing his assessment on watching fight footage or hearsay.
He has sparred numerous rounds against Adrien Broner and knows maybe more about Broner entering their fight Saturday night than any of Broner’s previous professional opponents. Granados recognizes sparring with headgear and bigger gloves is different from fighting beneath the bright lights, with all eyes on you.
But based on what he knows about Broner, Granados is certain he will win their 12-round welterweight fight at Xavier University’s Cintas Center in Cincinnati.
“I just believe I’m a better fighter,” Granados said during a recent conference call. “He’s a tremendous fighter, a tremendous talent. I just believe people are underestimating my talent. They only see me as a one-sided fighter and one type of style and one type of skill set. But there’s plenty the boxing world doesn’t know about me and I plan on giving them a hint of that February 18th.”
Cincinnati’s Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) is listed by various Internet sports books as a 3½-to-1 favorite over Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs). Broner clearly is more accomplished than anyone Granados has boxed, but Granados believes his level of opposition is being overlooked.
The 27-year-old Granados, of Cicero, Illinois, has lost two split decisions – to Jose Juan Fuentes (9-1, 5 KOs) in his second pro fight and to then-unbeaten Brad Solomon (26-1, 9 KOs) on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao undercard in May 2015. Granados also has lost a pair of majority decisions – to Frankie Gomez (21-0, 13 KOs) in August 2011 and to Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) in November 2014.
The gritty Granados has two draws on his record as well – with Lanardo Tyner (31-10-2, 20 KOs, 2 NC) in March 2011 and Kermit Cintron (39-5-2, 30 KOs) in March 2013.
The most noteworthy victory of Granados’ eight-year pro career was an eighth-round technical knockout of then-undefeated Amir Imam (19-1, 16 KOs) in November 2015.
“It would be a huge victory for me,” Granados said of beating Broner. “I definitely believe it could change my life, the life of my family, the life of my teammates. I plan on coming out with that victory. However, I understand the odds and the way that they’re stacking it up. But I’ve been in there with some great fighters myself – Lanardo Tyner, Kermit Cintron, Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz, Frankie Gomez, undefeated Brad Solomon, Amir Imam.
“So, of course, Adrien Broner is a different caliber of fighter. However, I haven’t been in there with nothing but bums, either. I’ve gotten thick skin myself because a lot of the losses that I have I know I won them. And them two draws, I know I won those. A lot of people feel like I could easily be undefeated. But I’ve always been the ‘B’ side and I’ve always had the odds stacked up against me. So I’ve just gotta thrive in the underdog position, which I plan to. And yeah, this is definitely the biggest fight of my career and I plan on taking full advantage of it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.