Adrien Broner defeats Paulie Malignaggi via split decision; wins WBA welterweight title.


Last Saturday night, Adrien Broner (27-0) became a world champion at a third weightclass (147 lbs). At just 23 years old, he beat veteran Paulie Malignaggi (32-5) via split decision, winning the WBA welterweight crown. In the end, the fight ended up delivering an entertaining 12 rounds of action.

Even though I thought it was a definitive victory for “The Problem”, he didn’t look like the type of fighter that he is hyped up to be. Malignaggi was landing a large volume of strikes, winning at least four rounds in my eyes. He proved to be tougher opposition for Broner than the Gavin Rees’ and Antonio Demarco’s of the world. Broner gave away those early rounds by having such a low output. Or maybe Malignaggi’s style was a burden to him. Not a dangerous burden but a frustrating one for Broner.

Malignaggi landed a lot of shots on Broner, but none of those landed had any power to them. Broner spent a lot of time no-selling Malignaggi’s punches, mugging for the audience, which is all well and good. It was silly and fun at times. But if those punches were from a Danny Garcia or Lucas Matthysse, Broner would have been lying on the canvas.

What was clear in the fight, was that Broner had the edge when it came to punches that were landed with force and power. Around the fifth round, Broner started to take over the fight. But he never came close to putting his opponent away. Malignaggi had some success at the end of the fight, but it wasn’t enough in my eyes to win the fight.

Broner still has a lot of issues he needs to work on before he really becomes the next “Floyd Mayweather, Jr.” I don’t think he will ever be at that level, but I will say he is an awfully fun fighter to watch. Also, one never knows what the future holds. I would like to see how Broner would do against the likes of Garcia, Matthysse, Maidana, Ortiz and Berto.

For any 23 year old, most people would be deeply impressed with what Broner did in there, especially against a crafty guy like Malignaggi. But because of the partnership with Al Haymon, and because of the hype attached to him, first by HBO and now Showtime, it’s difficult not to be a tad bit critical to the young prospect. Malignaggi has a serious point about his fights with Cotto and Khan, and how they compared to his fight with Broner.

Removing that context from this fight, I thought it was a blast to watch. Malignaggi, knowing his limitations, fought admirably and made this far more competitive than I had anticipated. Broner proved to be a premium cable TV draw, as the two highest rated fights of 2013 have been his fight with Rees (1.4 million) and Malignaggi (1.3 million). Maybe Broner won’t be as skilled as Mayweather was, that’s an awfully high standard, but he could be on his way to becoming a legitimate attraction.

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