A Look at the Career of Adrian Granados and His Upcoming Fight with Jayson Velez

Exclusive Interview with Adrian Granados

Adrian “Tigre” Granados (21-9-3, 15 KO’s) will be making his return back to the ring on June 24 when he faces tough veteran Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (30-11-1, 21 KO’s) at the Waukesha Expo Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The fight will be promoted by Boxers Make Boxing 3 and will also feature a loaded card with up-and-coming fighters from the Midwest. The last time we saw Granados was back in September of 2021, when he faced off with Conor Benn in a Welterweight fight. Even though Granados came up short in the fight, he gave Benn a tough fight. Granados is looking to get back in the win column and showcase that he is still one of the top fighters out there today. The 33-year-old Granados is still a young veteran, and his record is a lot better than people might give him credit for.

In this exclusive interview, Granados talks about his start in boxing, the ups and downs of his career and his upcoming fight with Jayson Velez. Ultimately, Granados is still on a quest to win a major world title.

It’s a story you want to hear.

Rich Lopez: First of all, how are you doing champ?

Adrian Granados: I’m doing good man. Thanks for asking.

RL: For those that don’t know you story, where did you grow up?

AG: I was raised in Chicago in the Pilsen “Little Village” area. I’m a Cicero boy and went through the Cicero schooling system.

RL: How did you get started in boxing and what age were you?

AG: I was 15 years old and was a sophomore in high school. I started to get into fights. I went to a relatively white and black school. There were a handful of Mexicans at the school, but they got in trouble, and they were my buddies. I was by myself, and I used to get picked on by the other guys. I defended myself and I got into a lot of fights, but they were fights where I did well. I got into fights were I beat some people up and I was introduced to the history teacher Brother Peter. Brother Peter took me under his wing and he had me training about a month/month and a half. Then he took me over to my coach Rico Gonzalez. From there it was history and I got in the ring for the first time. After that he said I was ready to go, so I got into my first boxing fight and won it.


RL: Who were your favorite boxers growing up?

AG: Without a doubt, Julio Cesar Chavez. He was the reason why I always wanted to be a boxer. My father was a big fan of his. My dad went to a lot of his big fights such as Chavez/Taylor, Chavez/Haugen, Chavez/Camacho, Chavez/Whitaker and Chavez/Randall.

RL: How would you describe your boxing style?

AG: I’m a boxer puncher for sure. I’m blood and guts and I definitely go for the gusto, but I can box as well. I have the pedigree and show my versatility. When I need to box, I can box and when I need to bang, I can bang.

RL: Tell me about your amateur career?

AG: I had a very solid amateur career. My amateur record was 58-12. I was an Olympic Reserve for the Mexican Olympic team. I was ranked number five for the U.S. and then Mexico called me over and said you made it to the Reserves. I finished number two and lost to Jessie Vargas 15-13 in the semi-finals. Vargas went to the finals and won 12-1, so they kept me in the squad instead of the other guy.

RL: It’s interesting you fought Jessie Vargas in the amateurs.

AG: It’s crazy man because we were roommates supporting each other. We developed a friendship, and it was really awkward when we had to fight each other. It was a good experience and I’m a good friend of Jessie’s. It will be something I will never forget.

RL: How was the transition from amateur to pro?

AG: It went pretty well. I have more of a pro style than amateur. Once I transferred over it went well. I just had a lot of setbacks as far as management and as far as promotions go. I was held back a couple of times and it was rough, but I learned the business and I’m still learning. Now I’m moving forward, and I definitely have a better knowledge on what I need to do moving forward.

RL: You have been fighting for almost 15 years as a professional. You have fought the toughest fighters in your career. You started tough early on. You fought guys like Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Frankie Gomez.  Looking back, who was your toughest fight?


AG: I would say it was Shawn Porter. He did a lot of different things I was not expecting him to do. He was a brash come forward guy but he ended up out boxing me when I planned to outbox him. Then he did his typical dirty tactics and that’s where I got him. I actually got dirtier than him. He started hitting me with elbows, but I would hit him with some elbows too. He hit me with low shots and I hit him back with low shots. I didn’t think he expected that from me, so I broke him. When he hurt his hand on my head, I did that on purpose. I had seen the punch coming and I actually leaned into the punch and timed the punch. It was a war. We both ended up going to the hospital. We both had to get checked out because it was a rough one. It was a legendary fight, and I had a great night. It was my first time in New York, and I ended up meeting Busta Rhymes that night. It was real cool and I had a great experience.

RL: You have a record of 21 wins, 9 losses and 3 draws, with 15 KO’s. Even though you have losses and draws on your record, you can make a case some of those blemishes should have been wins in favor. I’m I correct on that?

AG: Most definitely. I tell people I’ll take three L’s to the bank. I’ll accept those losses and that will be Frankie Gomez, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. The fight with Danny Garcia I fought that fight with COVID before COVID existed. I was trying to get out of the fight, but I was not the A-side. Garcia was making a seven-figure payday and the fight was on prime-time Fox TV. I really didn’t have a say if I can fight or not. It was my job just to show up.

RL: I just want to mention two notable fights that should have gone your way. Your draw with Kermit Cintron and your loss to Adrien Broner. Was there ever talks about rematches for any of those fights?

AG: No. The main one I get a lot is Adrien Broner. Everyone is saying we should do a rematch.

RL: Would you say your biggest win of your career so far is Amir Imam?

AG: Yes. That fight changed my life and put me on the map. It made the boxing world realized I was a threat. It sucks because after that I had some bad breaks as far as management and as far as promoting goes. I got blacklisted because Imam was Don King’s last gem, and he was upset because I didn’t give him a rematch. He ended up icing me and putting me on the blacklist.  I was pretty much on ice for a year after my biggest win which sucked.

RL: I heard at that time Amir Imam was lined up for a title shot against Viktor Postol. Since you defeated Imam, was there a title shot offered for you?

AG: There was but this was my fault. I was offered little money and I should have taken the fight for the world title. I was getting offers for three or four times more with other fighters such as Ruslan Provodnikov and John Molina Jr. Even a rematch with Amir Imam was more money than the title fight. I was young and just thought about the money and thought well I can just get the title later. If I would have gotten that title, I probably could have defended it and gotten a huge payday.

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RL: You were once a sparring partner for one of my favorite fighters Juan Manuel Marquez. How was that experience like?

AG: That was huge. I got him ready when he was going to fight Juan “The Baby Bull” Diaz. I was his only sparring partner for that fight. Good story on that. Marquez was knocking out all his sparring partners and I was the only guy to hang with him. I ended up sparring with him and did well. Marquez said all he needed was me and that was a huge experience for me. At that time, Marquez was my favorite fighter, and it was a dream come true to work under his tutelage.

RL: Nowadays you hear of fighters switching up trainers usually because they lost or had a bad night in the ring. You have been with your trainer George Hernandez since the beginning of your career. Tell me why your relationship with your trainer is so strong?

AG: We have a strong bond. It’s mostly been on me and not my coaches. It’s been my problems and my ways that have been the downfall of my career. That’s why I’m appreciated of my coaches and my team.

RL: In your last fight against Conor Benn, you went to distance and lost a unanimous decision. I caught an interview between you and Benn discussing the decision of the fight. You felt you did enough to win the fight. Since then, have you had a chance to look back at the fight and do you still feel the same way about the decision?

AG: I watched it and thought it was closer than I thought. I felt like I out boxed circles around him that night, but I should have been more aggressive myself. I was too defensive minded that night. I would have been happy with a draw.

RL: You were scheduled to fight last year in June, but the fight never went through. Can you explain what happened?

AG: I got injured so I had to pull out and reset.

RL: By looking back at your career you have fought at junior welterweight and welterweight? Which weight class you feel your best at?

AG: Definitely at junior welterweight.  I should have been at that weight this whole time, but the money and opportunities were being offered at welterweight. I believe now I’m actually a full-fledged welterweight, but I can still make 140, so that’s why I want to give it another shot at 140.


RL: Let’s talk about your upcoming fight on June 24 where you will headline the card.  Your opponent is Jayson Velez who is also another veteran like yourself, and he is also a former title challenger. This fight will be contested at junior welterweight, correct?

AG: Yes, it is. We are doing a catch weight of 142.

RL: How has training camp been for this fight?

AG: It’s been going well. I feel good and I feel confident. I know Jayson Velez is coming prepared, so we are doing what we need to do to get ready.

RL: Have you done anything different in preparation for this fight?

AG: Yes, I have more of a team and foundation. I have a good support that is holding me down.

RL: I know a victory is what you’re looking for but will you be looking for a dominant victory or a stoppage in this fight?

AG: Yes of course, I would love a knockout or stoppage however I just want to make sure we come out with the win.

RL: Are you looking at this fight to get back in the ring and then look for bigger fights ahead?

AG: Exactly that. I’m looking to make a statement and show the boxing world I’m ready for more.

RL: I know you’re not looking past Velez, but if you come out victorious, when do you plan to fight again?

AG:  As soon as possible. I’ll do my best to stay in the gym and stay focused.

RL: When you fight again, will you stay at junior welterweight?

AG: Yes sir.

RL: If so, who do you want to fight?

AG: Anybody that is a top contender. I just want to get a world title shot before I get out of the game. I feel like I deserve that. I remember back in the day Regis Prograis called me out and want to get his name up. Now, he is a world champion, and I would love to get my shot at him. Obviously, I want to be a mandatory and make sure I earn my position.


RL: Any fighters in the Midwest we should be looking out for?

AG: Yes, Devin Parrish. He’s a nationally ranked amateur. He has been my sparring partner for two years now. I’ll be excited to watch him, and I’ll be rooting him on. He’s a great kid and a disciplined fighter. He stays in shape all the time and he is going to have a great boxing career.

RL: Champ, thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. What do you want to tell all of your fans?

AG: I want to thank my fans for the opportunity and getting me the motivation. They are the reason why I’m still boxing. I did lose my love for boxing and that’s why I took a break. With the support and help from everybody and I’m looking to give it another go. I’m very appreciated of Nick Fischer and Boxers Make Boxing Promotions. I’m very fortunate and appreciated of this opportunity and I’m looking to put on a tremendous show. I would like to get some more work with them. They are great for the sport and very professional.

To check out Granados vs Velez and the entire card, it will be streamed live at https://dftvsportswest.com/bmb-3/

Written by: Rich Lopez

Photo Credit: Mark J Rebilas/USA Today Sports


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