Adrian Broner, left, beat Adrian Granados by split decision in their fight in Cinncinati
Boxing in his hometown after a tumultuous year of legal and personal troubles, Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner fought to a split decision over Adrian Granados in a 10-round welterweight bout Saturday night at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.
‘Adrian Granados is a world class fighter,’ Broner said.
‘I knew he was going to come tough. A lot of guys duck him but I wanted to fight him because that’s what I’m about. At the end of the day, I was beating him up. This was an easy one for me.’
Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) had fought just once in the past 15 months. It was the four-time champion’s first fight since losing the 140-pound WBA title for failure to make weight.
The victory saw Broner make a successful return to the ring after a year of personal troubles
‘I’m taking my career more seriously and being more positive,’ Broner said.
‘I want to apologise to everyone who looks up to me. I’m ready to be a better role model.’
Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs) wanted to keep Saturday’s decision out of the judges’ hands with Broner fighting in his hometown. But, two judges narrowly scored in favour of Broner, 97-93, 96-94.
‘If he thinks he did it this time, let’s do it again,’ said Granados, a Chicago native. ‘I made it uncomfortable for him. I want it at my house.’
Broner spent time in jail after arriving late for his assault trial and contemplated suicide
But he returned with a victory in his home state of Ohio against close friend Granados
Granados and Broner are close friends and former sparring partners. That familiarity was apparent on Saturday night. Broner even kept his signature trash talk to a minimum in the weeks leading up to the fight.
‘Inside this ring, it’s business,’ Broner said. ‘Granados is a great friend of mine. It’s nothing personal.’
According to Compubox, Broner won seven of 10 rounds and outlanded Granados in the final three rounds. Broner’s accuracy was 41 percent to 21 percent for Granados.
Broner said he injured his left hand in the first round, preventing him from using his jab and forcing him to stay inside.
Broner apologised to his fans and insisted he had turned things around after his tough year
Granados attempts to wind up a shot on Broner, who looks to duck out of the way on the ropes
Despite the loss in Cincinnati, Granadas insisted he was still capable of ‘beating anybody’
‘He fought smart and did his thing,’ Granados said. ‘I knew it wouldn’t be a pretty fight but I’m so thankful to my team. I don’t have a perfect record, but I can beat anybody.’
In Saturday night’s co-feature, Lamont Peterson (35-3-1) returned from a 16-month layoff and took the WBA welterweight title from Russian David Avanesyan (22-2-1) in a 12-round unanimous decision.
The triple-header opened with Marcus Browne improving to 19-0 with a sixth-round knockout of Thomas Williams Jr in a light heavyweight bout. It was the 14th KO for Browne, a 2012 U.S. Olympian.
Broner, pictured entering the ring dressed in gold and wearing a balaclava prior to the contest