It’s another big-fight weekend in the Big Apple.
Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia — prolific belt collectors who’ve combined to capture crowns in seven weight classes — will get together Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for a 140-pound bout whose result will go a long way toward determining their fighting futures.
The 12-rounder will headline a two-bout card to be broadcast on Showtime at 9 p.m.
Two more fights will be shown on the network’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at 7:15.
Broner enters as a former champion at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, but his star has faded significantly since losses to welterweights Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. Garcia, meanwhile, is unbeaten in 36 fights and holds the WBC’s title at 135, but pursued the match with Broner after he was unable to secure either a significant title defense or a unification fight at lightweight.
With a combined record of 69-2 — including 13 wins and 10 KOs in 14 championship fights — it’s obvious that both men arrive having navigated through a number of tough challenges.
Here are our picks for the five biggest fights of their respective careers.
Antonio DeMarco (W TKO 8): Broner had already won and defended a 130-pound belt by the time November 2012 rolled around, but it was an encounter with then-WBC lightweight champ Antonio DeMarco at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City that was so special.
Rather than struggling with a rugged competitor who’d stopped Jorge Linares to stake his title claim, “The Problem” instead landed 53 percent (241 of 451) of his punches while beating DeMarco from corner to corner until an eighth-round cessation.
“I was shakin’ and bakin’ him until I flipped him up,” Broner said. “I knew he didn’t have the skills to beat me.”
Paulie Malignaggi (W SD 12): It’s remembered for fiery chatter before and after, but Broner’s not-as-close-as-it-was-scored split decision over Paulie Malignaggi in June 2013 actually put him in some select company.
The win gave him Malignaggi’s WBA welterweight championship and made him — at age 23 — just the fourth fighter to win belts at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, following memorable guys named Mayweather, Pacquiao and De La Hoya.
Broner, who appeared far stronger and landed the more telling blows, earned the win by scores of 117-111 and 115-113, while a third scorecard had Malignaggi up, 115-113.
Marcos Maidana (L UD 12): All good things must come to an end, and it was Broner’s run as an unbeaten that bit the dust in December 2013 when he ran into unheralded Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana in San Antonio.
The incumbent champ reached the ring as a 5-to-1 favorite, but he was clearly troubled by Maidana’s swarming style and was dropped in both the second and eighth rounds.
Broner was on the short end of judge’s tallies that read 117-109, 116-109 and 115-110, respectively, and the bout was ultimately deemed Ring Magazine’s top upset for 2013.
Shawn Porter (L UD 12): A three-fight post-Maidana win streak was snuffed out in June 2015 when Broner met former IBF welterweight champ Shawn Porter in a 144-pound bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Porter used a stiff jab and outworked Broner for most of the fight, but Broner landed many hooks and uppercuts and scored the fight’s lone knockdown — with a left hook — in the 12th round.
It was Broner’s second loss in four welterweight bouts to that point, though he remains unbeaten (29-0 with 24 KOs) at 140 pounds and lower.
Khabib Allakhverdiev (W TKO 12): The disappointment of the Porter loss was tempered when Broner returned to the title-holding fraternity in his very next outing six months later, copping the WBA’s vacant crown at 140 pounds.
Battling a tough, but outgunned Khabib Allakhverdiev — who’d previously held the IBO and WBA belts in the weight class — Broner began asserting himself in the middle rounds and ultimately began marking up his opponent’s face as the fight progressed.
It was finally waved off with 37 seconds remaining in the 12th round for Broner, who said, “I’m getting wiser. I’m getting older.”