By Ben Jacobs
Highlighting the undercard of Errol Spence’s world title defence against Carlos Ocampo later tonight is Adrian Granados (18-6-2, 12 KOs) and Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) in a potentially explosive match-up to begin proceedings on a Showtime bill.
Both men are looking to rebound from loses, Granados to Shawn Porter and Fortuna to Robert Easter back in January.
“They brought this fight up to me a couple of weeks ago and, luckily I was in training already, we were working on a couple of tentative dates,” Granados told BoxingScene.com in an interview this week.
“I was getting a little impatient, but I stayed positive and it’s a good opportunity. He’s a former world champion and a lot of people feel like he deserved the nod over Robert Easter, he definitely fought a tough fight. It’s going to be a good fight, our styles will mix well -we’ll open up the show with a bang.”
Granados has spent preparations for this contest away from his hometown of Chicago in order to freshen things up after results went against him in 2017.
“I wanted to change things up a bit, go back to my roots. I hadn’t been out in Mexico for training for a while, luckily, I was able to get great work in, it was a great experience and I got to see a lot of different places in Mexico that I hadn’t been to. It was good to rediscover my culture.
“I got some great work and it was great to be with the Chávez family. Julio Sr was the reason I got into boxing, he was my idol growing up. Once word got around that I was out there, guys were coming to the gym giving me great work. I will be ready for whatever Fortuna has got.
“I needed to reset,” he continued.
“I’m coming off two loses and, I got a little down in the dumps. I feel like I have the capability to be a world champion, I was getting a little frustrated, so it was good to get away. I’m back now and I can’t wait to show the boxing world what I’ve been up to.”
Looking back on his two bouts in 2017, some observers felt that Granados was unfortunate to have been handed the loss against Adrien Broner in February of last year in what was a razor close, entertaining match. Meanwhile last November’s encounter with Shawn Porter was something the 28-year-old felt could have played out differently.
“With the Broner fight I felt I deserved the nod or I would have been fine with a draw, it was a close fight.
“As far as the Porter fight goes, I watched it back, I’ll take the loss, but he was hurt and I will say I was very upset with the refereeing in that fight,” he lamented.
“It seemed one sided, he kept pushing and breaking my rhythm, and he tripped me by accident, I know that can happen. I started getting into a groove and I felt like I was maybe going to stop him, and I feel like the referee kind of saved him.
“No excuses though, Shawn’s a great fighter and a former champion but it all added to my frustration. I knew it was going to be a rough fight, but I felt the momentum in that fight was halted too many times by the referee. Shawn’s like a football player but I was ready for it. I wasn’t happy with my performance watching it back, I made a lot of basic mistakes that I usually don’t do. That’s why I went back to the drawing board and I’m looking to move forward with my career, back at 140lbs.
“My name was brought up a lot when (José) Ramírez and (Amir) Imam fought so obviously that can happen, it’s a belt I feel I should have got. We’ve both got the win over Amir, but I just want to be a world champion at 140. Before anything we have to take care of Javier Fortuna, it won’t be a walk in the park, I know he’s coming to win.”