Calling “The Problem’s” decision “a curious one,” renowned boxing analyst Al Bernstein is uncertain who will win between WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner and WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The 23-year-old Broner (26-0, 22 KOs), who is often compared to “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather due to dominating roughly 300 amateur pugilists, eagerly added 12 pounds to fight Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) at 147.
“Broner’s move to 147 to face Paulie Malignaggi is a curious one,” Bernstein told World Boxing News. “He has already gone up in weight to get to 135 (from 130) and this move would, at least temporarily, skip the talent-rich 140 pound division.”
“It’s obvious that his team feel they can challenge Paulie for a 147lb because he is not a big puncher at the weight. However, Broner is almost untested against good fighters. His win over Ponce De Leon was razor thin and he could have lost, and De Leon was moving up in weight. Paulie is a skilled fighter who will give Broner looks he has not seen before. I think the Broner-Malignaggi fight is a 50-50 affair – with a slight edge to Paulie.”
Broner, ranked as the number one lightweight in the world by BoxRec and the sixth preeminent pound-for-pounder by The Ring, most recently exited the squared circle on February 16 with a fifth round TKO triumph over Welshman Gavin Rees.
“The Problem” twice floored Rees (37-2-1, 18 KOs) before trainer Gary Lockett mercifully halted the battering at 2 minutes, 59 seconds into the round.
Comparatively, the 32-year-old Malignaggi, former IBF light welterweight royalty who has won five consecutive bouts at 147 pounds, last vacated the ring with a split decision victory against Mexican Pablo César Cano.
Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
Perron expected Broner to trump Rees and predicts the youngster will continue maturing into one of the sport’s premier scrappers.
“Broner looks like the next great,” said Perron, 76, who worked with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler (62-3-2, 52 KOs) at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “He looks like he’ll become the next superstar as today’s big guns begin fading away.”
Despite getting his face broken by Miguel Cotto in June 2006, Malignaggi somehow managed to go the distance against the Puerto Rican icon.
Hence, the Brooklynite, who last lost to Amir Khan by an 11th-round knockout in May 2010, is undoubtedly a legitimate badass brimming with testicular fortitude.
Still, regardless of any size advantage favoring “The Magic Man,” the cocky and flamboyant Broner will utterly overwhelm Malignaggi.
In stark contrast to the opinion of the brilliant Al Bernstein, expect Adrien Broner to knock Paulie Malignaggi onto Queer Street within eight lopsided rounds this summer in Gotham.by