Styles make fights, and some fighters were just destined to face each other. Most fighters walk away from the war they’ve just endured and become the closest friends. Legendary warriors, Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti remained very close until Gatti’s mysterious death in 2009.
This weekend’s matchup forces two fighters to put their friendship aside.
In 2013 when Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) faced Marcos Maidana, he called on Chicago’s Adrian Granados to help in his preparation. Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) was also a sparring partner for Juan Manuel Marquez, and with his skills he earned his respect from Broner.
“I feel that we definitely got the best of one another. I had him bleeding a little bit, and had him backing up. He may not say it out loud, but you know as a fighter when you crack someone and their surprised,” said Granados.
Broner admits just how good Granados is in his opinion. “Every time we sparred, Granados earned it. He’s a stud and one hell of a fighter,” said Broner.
Fast forward to a couple years later, Granados upset then undefeated Amir Imam by technical knockout, and was no longer just a sparring partner. His career didn’t skyrocket, as fights fell thru one after the other. Playing the waiting game, Granados lost both his grandfather and best friend and fellow fighter, Ed Brown.
The 25-year-old Brown was shot multiple times in Chicago’s East Garfield Park and was a mutual friend of both Broner and Granados.
“Ed was a hell of a guy, a special type of talent. We’ve known each other since the amateurs,” said Broner.
“I probably spent more time with Ed than anyone else in the boxing world,” said Granados. “He was my little boxing brother. We were side by side for the last 12 years. I lost a good friend and this was a terrible loss for boxing.”
Granados has stated that he is dedicating this fight to Brown.
With days until the fight, conferences calls and press conferences are held. This is usually the time when the usual pre-fight trash talking begins. The only controversy surrounding this bout was the issue of the contracted weight. A day before the conference call, Round By Round Boxing was able to interview Granados, and the rumor of the weight was brought up.
Granados did mention that the contract changed from a 142-pound catch weight, to now fighting at 147 pounds.
Granados was respectful and asked that we please not mention the issue at that time. The next day for the conference call, the pot was stirred by a reporter who also heard the rumor, and Granados felt pressured to answer. This was how the media was able to let the cat out of the bag.
At Thursday’s final press conference the stage was quiet, except for a quick moment when Granados’ trainer, George Hernandez, stole the show.
“Thank you for having us, ‘The Broke Team’ finally has arrived, everyone’s got money and we ain’t got shit. But here we go, we done heard all this stuff, and we’ve come to fight. Training camp is over, and now we’re here to get it on, ain’t nothing else to be said.”
After Hernandez kept it short and sweet, both fighters couldn’t say enough good things about each other.
Come Saturday night, Broner and Granados will shake hands and once again meet in the center of the ring. These two friends will try to use their past experience to gain the edge over the other, but this time there is no headgear, no 16 ounce gloves, and for 10 rounds or less it will be anything but friendly.