Mikey Garcia's return to the ring last July following 42-month ring hiatus landed at Barclays Center.
One year later - almost to the day - he once again plays the boxing hotspot, this time in the biggest fight of his career to date.
The unbeaten three-division champion was already locked in for a catchweight showdown with Adrien Broner on Juiy 29, although the venue was up in the air. The Showtime-televised clash—which will be contested at the 140-pound super lightweight limit—is confirmed to headline at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, event handlers announced Tuesday afternoon.
“Broner vs. Garcia is one of the year’s biggest matchups in boxing and we anticipate an electric atmosphere at Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “This will be our fourth major card in 2017 as BROOKLYN BOXING continues to deliver dramatic moments, competitive fights, and many of the sport’s biggest names to fight fans.”
Tickets are due to go on sale Thursday June 15 at 10:00am ET, according to a release from Showtime and the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) press office. Prices are set for $950, $750, $350, $300, $250, $150, $75, and $50 (not including applicable fees), and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Friday, June 16 at noon (if tickets are still available). Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Confirmation of the hosting site came amidst rumors of the bout potentially heading west—particularly the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Floyd Mayweather (Mayweather Promotions) had placed a hold for the date, only to later withdraw his request once it was clear the show was East Coast-bound.
Original plans actually called for this very matchup to take place later in the year, with Showtime having budgeted fight dates for Broner and Garcia on separate shows. When both ran through possible options for summer stay-busy action, it was decided that the best laid-plan was to fast forward to a head-on collision.
"We had already talked about a possible matchup later in the year," said Garcia (36-0, 36KOs), who became a three-division champion earlier this year with a highlight-reel 3rd round knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin this past January to win a lightweight belt. "When we couldn’t find anything else available that made sense at lightweight, we looked at the 140 pound division with a big name that made sense.
"That's when Broner’s name came up. We brought it up with (Showtime Sports VP and General Manager) Stephen Espinoza and everything came together."
The bout will mark just the second Brooklyn appearance for the California-based Garcia, who played the Brooklyn hotspot last July in a 5th round knockout of Elio Rojas. The bout served as the chief support to the first thrilling showdown between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz. This time around, Garcia appears in the top part of the marquee.
It's a role that Broner (33-2, 24KOs) has played many times before, though just once before at Barclays. His previous appearance came in a June '13 points win over Paul Malignaggi to claim a welterweight belt in a matchup whose buildup was best known for their beefing over a side piece. The title haul marked a third weight division in which Broner added alphabet hardware, although his reign was one and done as he suffered his first career loss in his very next fight, a humbling 12-round beatdown at the powerful hands of Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana.
The brash boxer—who turns 28 on the eve of fight night—has since collected a fourth major belt at 140-pounds, coming in his 12th round knockout of Khabib Allakhverdiev on Oct. '15 in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the last time he ever made the 140-pound limit, conceding his title at the scales six months later when he missed weight for an eventual 9th round stoppage of Ashley Theophane last April in Washington, D.C.
Broner entered the fight with the weight of the world on his shoulders, as a warrant was out for his arrest on assault and robbery charges stemming from an incident that allegedly took place at a Cincinnati bowling alley last January. Charges were eventually dropped, although Broner continues to run afoul with the law as he has returned to jail at least twice since then.
He made his way back to the ring this past February, outpointing Adrian Granados over 10 rounds at the Cintas Center on Xavier University grounds in Cincinnati, Ohio. The fight was contested at the 147-pound limit, a late change from the original contract although there are clauses in place that prevent him from changing the terms for this fight as well as penalties in place should either boxer miss weight.
Along with the financial aspect, the former four-division titlist has more motivation to make weight and win big.
"Just check my record - undefeated (at 140 or below) and almost all by knockout.," Broner pointed out during a recent conference call. "Once I’m on track, nobody beats me. Only I beat myself."
A full undercard is expected to be finalized in the near future. As FightNights.com previously reported, one strong candidate to land as the co-feature is a 154-pound title clash between unbeaten recently crowned titlist Jarrett "Swift" Hurd and former champ Austin "No Doubt" Trout.
Also recently rumored as a potential supporting clash is a 160-pound title eliminator between unbeaten Jermall Charlo—a former 154-pound titlist whom defeated Trout last May before relinquishing his belt to move up in weight—and Argentina's Jorge Heiland. The winner would become the mandatory challenger to the WBC title currently in the possession of Gennady Golovkin, whom of course is preparing for a titanic September 17 battle with former two-division champ Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.