The announcer inside the ring at Barclays Center proclaimed the verdict to the crowd of 12,084. The judges had all seen it the same way. Adrien “The Problem” Broner didn’t have the answer for Mikey Garcia on Saturday night.
Garcia put his perfect record on the table in what the WBC lightweight champ had called the “biggest fight available” to him. Broner, a former world champ in four divisions, wanted to reestablish himself.
So Broner moved down in weight and Garcia moved up, and they met at the 140-pound intersection. But it was Garcia who won a unanimous decision in the 12-round super lightweight fight.
There were no belts of consequence on the table, just the WBC’s “Diamond Championship” belt, awarded to the winner of special fights. And this was special to Garcia.
“This is definitely one of my best performances,” Garcia said. “I think I controlled the fight in the early rounds and I kept the activity up.”
Garcia, who was also a former world featherweight and junior lightweight champ, came up from 135. The 29-year-old California native weighed in at 139 1/2, the heaviest in his career.
His career sat silent for 2 1/2 years after a promotional dispute before returning last July. A year later, he took advantage of a chance to make an even bigger name for himself, improving to 37-0.
“Maybe I’ll go down to 135, stay at 140 or go up to 147,” Garcia said.
Broner, who was tagged “The Problem” by his parents, became the second-youngest four-division champ in boxing history at age 26 in 2015.
But his star dimmed due to his ring work, repeated legal issues and a continuing bout with the scale. He has been separated from two of his titles due to weight issues.
He had 500,000 reasons to make weight for this fight — the amount of his fine if he didn’t make it. He made it, weighing in at 138 3/4.
One day after his 28th birthday, though, Broner didn’t reestablish himself. He fell to 33-3.
“At the end of the day, I’m still a four-time world champion at four different weight classes, and I’ll still be in the history books,” Broner said.
In the third round, Garcia landed a left to Broner’s jaw, but he wasn’t staggered. Garcia then landed several punches in one sequence with Broner pressed against the ropes.
Garcia continued to be the more aggressive fighter.
In the fifth round, he knocked Broner’s head back with a right. Garcia finished the seventh strong and pumped his right glove after the bell.
Early in the eighth round, Garcia had his gloves down, practically daring Broner to go for it. He didn’t. Later in the round, Garcia had fans chanting “Mik-ey, Mik-ey.”
“It was ‘Tom & Jerry,’ ” Broner said. “I had to catch the mouse.”
Both fighters had their moments in the final round. But this was Garcia’s fight and night. The judges had it 116-112, 117-111, 116-112. Garcia landed 244 of his 783 punches. Broner landed 125 of his 400.
“I’ve always said I have very good timing,” Garcia said. “It is underestimated when you are outside the ring, but once you get inside the ring with me, I’m a step ahead.”
Former IBF junior middleweight champ Jermall Charlo made his middleweight debut on the undercard. The 27-year-old Texan improved to 26-0, scoring a fourth-round TKO over Jorge Sebastian Heiland of Argentina in a WBC middleweight eliminator bout.
And Brooklyn heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller improved to 19-0-1, defeating Gerald Washington via TKO when the fight was stopped after the eighth round.