By Lem Satterfield
Adrian Granados didn’t attend a November press conference in Los Angeles announcing an April 20 welterweight battle with two-division champion Danny Garcia, but “El Tigre” made a video saying Garcia “talked too much s***,” to which “Swift” vowed to “beat his a**”
With each looking to back up his words as Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs), of Philadelphia, fights Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC), of Cicero, Illinois at a site to be determined, a big question will be whether or not Garcia's counter-punching potency can overcome the scrappy Granados' intermittent aggression.
“Danny Garcia and Adrian Granados is a funny fight because Garcia has the punching power,” said Paulie Malignaggi, a 38-year-old Showtime ringside analyst and former 140- and 147-pound champion who lost a ninth-round TKO to Garcia in August 2015.
“But Granados is gritty, stubborn guy can who outwork Garcia, because Garcia’s the kind of guy who wants to punch with you, and to catch you with a shot based on good timing, and Granados may not always be in range for him to land those.”
The 30-year-old Garcia's 1-2 in his past three fights and attempting to rebound from September’s unanimous decision loss to two-time title winner Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) for the WBC’s vacant welterweight crown.
Garcia sandwiched a split-decision unification loss to current WBA title holder Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) in March 2017 and that to Porter around last February’s ninth-round TKO of former 135-pound titleholder Brandon Rios. Garcia lost his WBC crown to Thurman, who vacated it due to injuries, allowing Porter to win it the vacant crown against Garcia.
Garcia’s deep resume includes 13 of his past 16 fights at 140- and 147-pounds being against current or former champions, with 11 of them being victories. Among those Garcia’s vanquished are four-division champion Erik Morales (twice), two-division titlists Robert Guerrero, Lamont Peterson and Zab Judah, and one-timers Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Mauricio Herrera, Kendall Holt and Nate Campbell. Garcia owns fourth-round stoppages of Khan and Morales, and made five defenses at 140 pounds.
The 29-year-old Granados lost back-to-back split- and unanimous decisions to four-division champion Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) and Porter in February and November 2017. But Granados stormed back with consecutive third-round knockouts against Luis Fernando Valdez and Adalberto Borquezin August and September.
Granados’ 140-pound clash in June with two-division champion Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) ended in a fourth-round no-contest after Fortuna was accidentally pushed from the ring, complained of being injured and was unable to continue.
Granados rode a five-bout winning streak into his fight with Broner, with three of those triumphs being stoppages. That includes an eighth-round TKO upset of then-unbeaten Amir Imam (18-0, 15 KOs) in November 2015.
“This is a tricky fight because Granados isn’t a puncher’s fighter, and Garcia’s the kind of guy who doesn’t get off a lot of punches a lot of times, said Malignaggi. “I wanna say Danny wins by unanimous decision, it could be a very close unanimous decision.”