One is a brash talking all American fighter hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio with swagger and knockout power in equal measure. The other… is a brash talking all American fighter from New York with perhaps his last big shot at making it back to the top. Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi go head to head at the Barclays Centre, in Brooklyn after an intense and entertaining pre- fight build up.
Although Broner is effectively moving up two weight divisions to challenge for Malignaggi’s WBA Welterweight title, in my opinion this won’t have any bearing on the fight. Broner’s natural frame and muscular body composition looks easily capable of holding strong at the weight and he has also had well documented struggles to make weight in the past down at junior lightweight. The knockout power lies without doubt in Broner’s hands with 22 knockouts in 26 fights he has dispatched virtually everyone in his path before the final bell. The fact that the fight is in Malignaggi’s backyard shouldn’t have any effect whatsoever as the culture of American crowds is vastly different to that in the UK. The American fans are just not as vociferous and vocal in creating a hostile atmosphere.
Malignaggi may be a world champion but he has been cherry picked and you can see why. He will provide a good test whilst his lack of power highlighted by his low KO percentage of 19.4% means he is viewed as lower risk option. The fight will be as entertaining and interesting as Malignaggi decides to make it depending on whether he has the genuine self-belief that he can win and doesn’t just accept it’s a nice payday and try to go the distance. The first couple of rounds will reveal his mentality which could be a big factor. Certainly if he is beaten convincingly or knocked out he will be written off at the top level.
Having said that, if you like to chance your arm there is definitely great value in the odds in backing a Malignaggi points win at odds in excess of 10/1 widely available. He has a great quick-fire jab and good movement which if he executes a very specific game plan to perfection he could steal a points win; especially if the Judges show preference for the home fighter. I wouldn’t be shocked if the ‘Magic Man’ could pull off a points win. He has been in with heavy hitters before and is a seasoned campaigner up against a man who perhaps has not before encountered what he can offer between the ropes.
‘The Problem’ Broner, should have too much power and ability and if he delivers in style he will really send a statement out to the welterweight division. If he is the next pound for pound star that many believe he is then he really has to deliver the goods against an opponent who has never won against an elite level fighter.