Malignaggi vs. Broner: A battle in and out of the ring, who wins what?
In the past couple month’s, the majority of pre-fight drama and verbal sparring before a prize fight has been mostly done by the fighters father’s who also happen to be their son’s trainers. Angel Garcia and Zab Judah created tons of drama before Danny and Zab stepped into the ring starting at the pre-fight dinner all the way up to the fight. It created an undeniable buzz that ended with the ring being divided between the 2 camps by security it became so heated. While that helped promote that fight into a must watch event, in the end the fight itself outweighed all of the pre-fight banter, and both fighters and camps earning each other’s respect.
The Mayweather-Guerrero followed suit with Ruben Guerrero and Floyd Sr. squaring off in a similar fashion but with maybe even more disrespect. In the end though, Mayweather dominated, Guerrero and Robert’s dad did not back up his or his son’s bravado, and we were left with a bad taste in our mouth when Ruben was a fool in defeat screaming “he ran like a chicken” and trying to lift his son in the air when he had been thoroughly schooled and beaten by a beater boxer, and mysteriously disappearing not to be heard from again on the PPV broadcast.
Which brings me to the upcoming fight(s) between Paulie Malignaggi and Adrien Broner. The reason I say “fights” is because of the obvious verbal and social media war the 2 have been waging against each other, and the actual fight June 22nd. It’s actually a nice change of pace to have the actual fighters who will be facing each other in the ring waging the war of words for once which seems to have become less of a trend then the trainers, fathers, or both doing all of the trash talking. Here is where I come out on who will win these 2 different fights between these two men.
As far as the initial battle, I see Paulie as the clear cut favorite and feel he has already won in a way. In the fight announcement press conference Richard Schaefer talked briefly before giving the floor to Broner first. His delivery was choppy, seemed unsure of what he wanted to say, and the confused about the direction of the insults he wanted to hit Paulie with all while wearing a white T with “Paulette” in pink on the front of it. For someone that seems to aspire to be a rapper, his un-comfortableness and lack of flow and confidence was odd. With free styling being a key component of a rapper who likes to battle, Broner came up painfully short. His whole awkward performance was focused at the end on trying to say he was currently involved or at least insinuated that he had hooked up with an ex of Malignaggi He even put his phone up to the mic on speakerphone to prove the two talk and she shortly addressed the room with no real substance.
Paulie then got his turn, and delivered a much smoother, confident barrage of trash talk and in the end, took round 1. His profanity laced tirade focused on the fact that Broner seemed to be pulling his left over’s and that the girl was “weekend p*ssy” and went on to elaborate what exactly that means, throwing in several comments of how he was going to beat his ass, that he was a Mayweather wanna-be, needed to be his own man and even admitted that Broner had irritated him by interfering with his Showtime broadcast announcing gig.
Next the 2 fighters took to social media and twitter to insult each other and here is where the Magic Man clearly has an advantage. He has already established himself as a twitter veteran and even has the moniker #TK, or twitter king. He continued to elaborate on the “weekend p*ssy” topic and continued to discredit any leverage Broner tried to have by bringing it up. Broner just can’t compete in the twitter arena with Paulie. He consistently misspells words, tweets random senseless comments, and is unsmooth in written word as he was at the podium. The only thing I do give him credit for though is a tweet saying boxer to boxer, that he wants the BS to the side and for Paulie to be on his A game and at his best for the fight so there are no excuses, to which Malinaggi tweeted in agreement.
As far as the fight, unfortunately this is the battle Broner will win, at least in the ring. He is a superbly talented fighter, even if he hasn’t been severely tested yet. He is extremely fast and instinctive with quite a bit of power. Even with jumping up 2 weight classes, his natural body build seems to be bigger and stronger then Paulie. I distinctly remember thinking that Pacquiao would have no chance against Oscar when he moved up to fight him, and Vegas agreed with him being a 10-1 bet to knock him out. I was at that fight and saw first hand how well he was able to come up in weight and dominate the supposedly bigger man. I will not make that mistake again. While Malignaggi is a very skilled and crafty veteran boxer, he is not known for having much power and I cannot see him outpointing Broner. I feel it will go more the way of his fight with Khan, where he absorbs quite a bit of punishment without ever giving up and fighting with heart as always, but ultimately coming up short.
The reason I said Broner will win “at least in the ring”, is because of what happens for each man after the fight. Each time I see Broner fight, I respect and enjoy his talent, but then am subjected to his post fight shenanigans. He does try to bring the flash and cockiness that Mayweather does, but without the clout or the resume. It rubs me the wrong way and I feel most other boxing fans as well. His shtick seems forced, un-natural, awkward, and solely for the purpose of publicity but it does not translate. Until he wins enough meaningful fights that it doesn’t matter how he acts, this will keep his popularity from being what it could if he had some respect for the sport. On the other hand, even with losing the fight, Malignaggi is positioned for success. Whether it’s his Future Legend clothing line, his twitter popularity, or most importantly his Showtime gig, Paulie is poised to continue to have a spot in the mainstream and stay relevant. On a panel of mostly older and somewhat conservative analysts in the Showtime lineup, he brings an articulate, upbeat, and accurate boxers perspective to the fights he covers. He definitely outshines his HBO counterpart in Roy Jones Jr and I’ve enjoyed watching him in this role and think he will continue to improve and grow.
So in the end, both men will be winners, just in different ways. My heart wants Paulie to win and knock Broner out, but my mind knows that will not be the case, and just the opposite, in my mind I hope that AB, about billions (come on son) Adrien Broner will somehow mature and realize his full potential as a star and boxer, but in my heart somehow know he does not seem to have that in him and we will be left wondering what could’ve been and lament another waste of talent. But for the time being I will enjoy this pre-fight build up and hopefully an entertaining fight even if it’s not the outcome I would like.