Tonight in Brooklyn, when Paulie Malignaggi(32-4, 7 KOs) and Adrien Broner(26-0, 22 KOs) are finished with their hotly anticipated showdown for Malignaggi’s WBA world welterweight championship, a star will be born.
His name will be twenty-three year old, Cincinnati, Ohio native, Adrien Broner. As Broner told me yesterday when asked if Malignaggi is the stiffest challenge the former two-division world champion has faced thus far, Broner replied, “On paper, Yeah. But, that is only on paper.” In other words, Broner intends on dominating Malignaggi and making, the Brooklynites, Malignaggi’s success no different from any of the other twenty-six (excluding Daniel Ponce De Leon) foes that Broner has easily vanquished.
Paulie Malignaggi typically evokes an unflattering sentiment whenever fight fans first think of him: The guy can not crack an eggshell. Malignaggi’s reputation as a puncher is that he may be one of, if not the most, pound-for-pound light hitting world champion on the planet. The Italian-American’s craft and specifically bravado, however, are seldom brought into question. The feather-fisted world champion deservedly now lays claim to being one of the sport’s true warriors. So, while Malignaggi will indeed have to bid farewell to the world championship he had to go overseas to capture, he will not do so without putting forth the most spirited effort the tiny-built, big-mouthed, thirty-two year old can possibly summon. Not in front of downtown Brooklyn.
As said before, Malignaggi is a crafty veteran with not just above-average, but good hand and foot speed. Since Malignaggi has been endowed with such facets to his game, this has caused some fans and media alike to believe that Malignaggi may be able to frustrate Broner much more significantly than the betting odds would suggest. However, Malignaggi can only throw one punch, albeit the best punch in his arsenal (the left jab) when fighting off of the back foot. And while that may cause problems for Broner in the early going only few fighters, such as Muhammed Ali, could win a fight with a jab alone. With all due respect to Paulie Malignaggi, who has exceeded everybody’ expectations, he is not on the tier of Muhammed Ali. If Malignaggi is going to have any chance of pulling off the upset, he will have to unload his best stuff. When Malignaggi does just that, he comes forward and gets into punching range, where he will meet Adrien Broner on the inside. A place (on the inside) that will ultimately spell the end of Malignaggi’s reign as a world champion at welterweight, as Broner is one of the most deadly fighters in boxing today whenever he the fight takes place chest to chest. Once Broner receives his opportunities on the inside with Malignaggi and gets into his rhythm he will proceed to throw some of the most beautiful combinations in the sport. With body shots that would leave even Canelo Alvarez impressed and wide-eyed, then finishing upstairs with every punch in the book like a true champion does.
Malignaggi will befuddle,present dimensions and speed that Broner has yet to have seen in the professional ranks. Early on, through the first third of the bout, the fight may very well be even at two rounds a piece. Once the bell rings for the fifth stanza however, Adrien Broner will being to put on a display that will leave all viewing in awe of his talent. Just as Broner went from fighting on even ground with Gavin Rees this past February through two rounds, and then proceeded to make the perfect adjustments to transform rounds three through five into a virtuous, one-sided thrashing, Broner will do the same with the game as they come Malignaggi. Only this time, round one and two, will extend through four, and rounds three through five will, in this fight, be rounds five through ten.
BRB’s FINAL OUTCOME: ADRIEN BRONER, VIA 10TH ROUND KNOCKOUT.