Verbal Sparring: Malignaggi vs. Broner
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Verbal Sparring: Malignaggi vs. Broner
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (April 27, 2013)

(Video - Adrien Broner & Paulie Malignaggi CLASH at the Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah Weigh-Ins... RAW & UNCUT!)
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In a contest that will hopefully be as entertaining in the ring as it has been outside of it thus far, Brooklyn’s own Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (32-4/7 KOs) faces off against quite possibly his toughest challenge to date in the form of self-assured Cincinnati Lightweight boxer Adrien “The Problem” Broner (26-0/22 KOs), whose meteoric rise to prominence in the Lightweight division has put him interestingly in his current position to compete against Malignaggi for the WBA World Welterweight title on June 22, 2013 in “Magic Man’s” own backyard at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. Broner has literally leapfrogged past the Junior Welterweight division entirely, avoiding some major bouts with serious threats attached to them in the process. The lead up to this fight has been anything but cordial between both men with Broner throwing several of his verbal blows far below Malignaggi’s belt. If Broner is looking to make things personal he’s been quite successful in making his intentions known to the press recently. But Malignaggi has never been one to back down from a fight, regardless of how tough it might be, whether it is with name-calling or throwing punches.

With as much flash, egotism, and pomposity as he normally displays while fighting, Broner has managed to trump even himself in the media build-up to his fight with Malignaggi. Paulie has been known for years as being outspoken and brash in his own comments to the media as well, however, as both boxers have begun the taxing media circus to promote their Championship fight on June 22. Adrien has publicly insulted Paulie on more than one occasion with, “Paulette better be in some shape”, referring to his nickname for Malignaggi. Yet the Brooklyn boxer came back with his own defense in true New York fashion with, “Last time I checked, you know, Adrien is a girl’s name. He’s sitting here calling me Paulette, but he’s got to feminize my name. But Adrien is already a girl’s name”. With the hype surrounding this bout that is being dramatically pushed by both boxers and their hilarious quotes and verbal interactions, for the fans sake let’s all hope that when they step into the squared circle that the fight itself proves to be far more enjoyable than their words.

Trash talking is the name of the game between these two obviously, but once the bell sounds it will be all about boxing. Malignaggi is a very versatile and adept veteran of the ring, yet he lacks the punching power to immediately drop Broner early and call it a night. Gavin “The Rock” Rees (37-2-1/18 KOs) also lacked the pop needed to do any damage against Broner when they fought on February 16th earlier this year and was unsuccessful in defeating “The Problem”. For Paulie it is going to have to be about constant movement and the ability to outbox Broner for long-term success. Malignaggi does have far more experience than Broner in terms of level of competition though, which could prove to be more of a deciding factor as the fight wears on. Paulie also made no qualms about his opinion of Adrien when he said, “What have we seen from Adrien Broner? We’ve seen a lot of handpicked opponents and we could’ve all been 26-0 against that kind of level of opposition”.

With Adrien Broner calling his upcoming fight with Paulie Malignaggi “easy money”; it would appear at least on paper that Broner has it in the bag to many, if at least not in his own mind anyway. Malignaggi doesn’t see it that clear-cut in proposing that, “This is a blockbuster event and I can’t wait to make a successful title defense in Brooklyn where my roots are”. “Magic Man” doesn’t plan on just showing up to get beaten in his own backyard. A solid boxer with quick hands, Malignaggi may not have ultimate punching power in either hand but he does have boxing aptitude, something that will go a long way when facing Broner.

Adrien Broner has been literally trying to follow in the footsteps of his plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face boxing idol in Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. (43-0/26 KOs) for some time now. He dresses like him, and also tries to speak and act like him with the same bravado and swagger that Mayweather is known for. This is a key strategic element in Floyd’s arsenal that he uses to his advantage quite effectively to sell fights and market himself to an often fickle and over zealous boxing public. Such idolatry is common with young fighters as they tend to seek out mentors that they have grown up looking up to. Broner continues this trend, viewing it possibly as a smart business decision and could be hoping to fill the Champion’s shoes once Mayweather decides to hang up his gloves for good. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery but those are big shoes to fill and “The Problem” hasn’t reached that level yet no matter how much he mimics his hero.

This bout can go one of two ways speculatively. First, Malignaggi could outbox Broner, exposing the younger fighter, who while jumping 2 divisions to obtain a strap reveals to the world that he isn’t all that HBO has been selling him as thus far, or second, Broner can show up, put a boxing clinic on against an older but still skilled boxer in Malignaggi and outwork the seasoned veteran. However you slice it, Malignaggi vs. Broner isn’t that bad of a fight given what’s out there, even if the words they throw at one another hold far more damage and weight than the actual blows either fighter will deliver on June 22nd.

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