June 22 world championship showdown between two of the most colorful characters in the sport, WBA Welterweight World Champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi and Two-Division World Champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the home of the “Magic Man”. These two men will produce fireworks either in or out of the ring.
This fight was officially announced Saturday, May 4, early noon on the eve of the biggest fight of this year to date. Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi is a Two-Division World Champion and current WBA Welterweight World Champion. Fight fans seem to be spilt down the middle on this one, Malignaggi has a huge and faithful following of fans more so on twitter is where their allegiance to him is on full display, crowning him the self-proclaimed Twitter king or #TK.
Malignaggi will undoubtedly be the underdog in this fight but it is my opinion that may be a mistake on the betting lines in Vegas. Malignaggi has been through the gauntlet and most certainly faced the better opposition between the two fighters; Miguel Cotto, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Amir Khan, Juan Diaz twice, when he faced Senchenko like Diaz, it was on Enemy territory, out of the country, everything against him.
Broner gets a bit of a bad rap from hardcore boxing fans, who are completely upset with the fact that he’s bi-passing the Jr. Welterweight division to take on Malignaggi, who they consider “Feather Fisted”. But the truth is Broner was tested before and didn’t look well. Many experts had him losing by two rounds to Daniel Ponce De Leon. A sentiment shared by Malignaggi. “He’s coming up to a real weight class against a real man. He’s going to get hit a lot too. Now you’re fighting a real fighter. Real fighters punch back,” explained Malignaggi.
Malignaggi brings to this fight size, in ring experience, better opposition, ring generalship and a massive heart. A heart that sometimes he needs to be saved from much like in the Khan and Cotto fights, where the durability of his chin became more of a tool used against him, as he could not be knocked out so the ref had to save him from himself.
Malignaggi has exposed other world champions and big draws in the sport. He did it with Diaz beating him in the first fight but being jobbed on the cards in Texas. Then coming back to do it again in the rematch. One thing is for sure, two things for certain, you have to be the goods to get pass Malignaggi, he’s never lost to anything but world class fighters. If you’re not world class, that will be evident in your fight against him. “I am fortunate to get these kinds of opportunities and usually I’m able to upset the apple card,” added Malignaggi.
Broner has a in and out of the ring style that’s only comparable to no other then Floyd Mayweather Jr. Some think he’s Mayweather but more aggressive. Others think he just wants to be Mayweather and hate him for emulating their favorite fighter. “Adrien is nothing more than a Floyd Mayweather wannabe. He doesn’t just fight like him. He talks like him. He breathes like him. He needs to get his own character,” expressed Malignaggi.
Using what’s been now renamed the Mayweather style also knows as the Philly shell, Broner was tagged upwards of 80+ times by a euro level opponent with a huge size disadvantage. What has to be said is like many of Broner’s opponents like Gavin Rees received the usual knockout treatment. Something that Malignaggi, with his battle tested chin isn’t fazed by. He has a different opinion on Broner’s power and Las Vegas and their betting lines. “I didn’t get my titles handed to me. I had to earn them. What happens to Broner when it isn’t easy? He’s never been put in that situation before. I thought this was the easiest fight they offered me. They’re giving me this ex-junior lightweight. It was a no brainer. He has good speed and good timing, but his power is overrated. A lot of what he does is overrated.”