What Did We Learn From Adrien Broner’s Win Over Paulie Malignaggi?
Adrien Broner (right) lands a right hand on Paulie Malignaggi (left) Saturday night in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by. Al Bello
When the announce was first made that WBC Lightweight titlist Adrien Broner would be moving up two weight divisions to challenge Paulie Malignaggi for his WBA Welterweight this past Saturday in Brooklyn, NY. In the lead up, the focus of this fight seemed to be on mostly Broner, a hot young rising star, as well as pre-fight trash talk surrounding Paulie’s ex-girlfriend (or side-piece as Paulie would say) Jessica. The question was this fight worthy of the attention, would this fight be competitive (Broner was the favorite going in), and how good of a fighter Adrien Broner. In the end, Broner ended up winning by split decision win. Here’s what we learned from both Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi:
1. Adrien Broner is good, but not elite… yet – Broner is without a doubt one of the most talented boxers in the world. He has the potential to one day be the best fighter in the world. However, this was a showcase fight for Broner. While he won, he was unimpressive, and left much to be desired.
2. Malignaggi proved tougher than expected – When I looked at this fight, I admittedly gave Malignaggi no chance at all. In fact, I looked at this fight as a 2013 version of Floyd Mayweather vs. Arturo Gatti from 2005. In the end I must eat my words. Paulie fought tough, fought hard, and used excellent strategy to make this a good scrap. And in doing so, he earned another payday or two.
3. I hope this fight will end the comparisons between Broner and Floyd Mayweather – Just because someone does some similar things as one fighter, doesn’t make that fighter a clone. While Broner does some (and I re-iterate some) things similar to Floyd Mayweather, doesn’t mean that he’s the second coming of “Money” Mayweather. Adrien Broner doesn’t jab or use his legs like a younger Floyd did. Broner doesn’t throw punches in combination like Floyd did at a similar age. And quite frankly, Broner hasn’t fought the competition that Floyd did. The 23-year-old Floyd Mayweather would defeat the 23-year-old Broner. And if the current version of “Money” Mayweather were to fight Adrien Broner right now, it would be like the teacher (Mayweather) taking the student (Broner) to school and teaching him a few lessons.
4. Malignaggi Needs To Be Careful Making Accusations He Can’t Prove – After the fight, Malignaggi made the claim that Al Haymon (Adrien Broner’s manager) basically cooked the books to ensure a Broner victory. First off can Malignaggi prove what he’s saying? No. Secondly, that’s not how Haymon rolls, he doesn’t do business like that nor is it his reputation. Lastly, that kind of talk can put Malignaggi at a possible risk of suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission. Keep in mind, when Juan Manuel Lopez made similar accusations following his rematch defeat to Orlando Salido last year, the Puerto Rican boxing commission suspended him. I’m not saying that will happen to Malignaggi, but “The Magic Man” needs to be careful making those type of charges.
5. Adrien Broner Is In Serious Need of An Ego Check – When you look at Adrien Broner’s attitude during the buildup to his fight with Malignaggi, his attitude during the fight, and his attitude at the post-fight press conference, Adrien Broner may be not only the most arrogant boxer in the world, but one of the more arrogant athletes in all of sports. Nothing wrong with having a healthy ego. I would argue that it’s needed for any elite athlete. However, with Broner it is starting to go to far. His ego was the reason that his strategy for the Malignaggi was basically to pot-shot and counter punch. Had Broner stepped it up, he could have dominated, but he didn’t and was content to do just enough to get by. And please don’t let me go off about how he acts during interviews. This is boxing, so it’s good to have fighters that are a bit of a lighting rod. You come to see them, but want them beat. It can cross the line to a fighter being an outright jerk who you detest to the point of not even putting down you money to see them fight Bottom line is that he needs to tone it down a little.
Broner-Malignaggi turned out to be a better fight than I expected. Contrary to some within social media, I felt that Adrien Broner did enough to win. Now the question is, did this performance turn Broner into an elite, prime-time attraction? I say no. While this fight was for Paulie Malignaggi’s belt, let’s be clear that this was a showcase bout for Adrien Broner and was set up to be his step into future superstardom. It didn’t turn out to be the case. The bottom line is that while Broner has a look of a fighter with all the goods, he has to prove it, something he didn’t do Saturday night in Brooklyn. Youth is on Broner’s side. He’s only 23 years old with room to grow as a fighter and as a person. As flashy, cocky, and talented as Adrien Broner is, you have to do a little more to be elite and become one of the pound 4 pound best. All he has to do is ask the fighter most people compare him to, Floyd Mayweather.