USA TODAY Sports
A fight between welterweight and lightweight titleholders Paulie Malignaggi and Adrien Broner is reportedly being discussed by Golden Boy, but Keith Thurman wants to get himself into the ring with Paulie, too.
Paulie Malignaggi says that Golden Boy has internally discussed matching him with Adrien Broner in June, an interesting proposition that would see Broner jump two divisions to welterweight, challenging for Malignaggi's WBA title.
"I think that Adrien is a very talented guy, but it's a very winnable fight for me. Adrien is a guy who is getting a lot of hype and a lot of press, so a win over a guy like that would put me in a great spot. So it was brought up to do a fight with Broner at June 22 at Barclays Arena. Obviously, it's a fight against a guy that people consider to be the future of the sport, yadda, yadda, yadda. So, having said that, if Adrien wants to take a chance on a welterweight opponent like me and he's that confident, then why not?"
Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO) last fought in October, edging his way past Pablo Cesar Cano. He looked great last year beating Vyacheslav Senchenko, but he looked a little worn out against Cano, a fight he was heavily favored to win.
Broner (26-0, 22 KO) has torn through a pair of top ten lightweights in Antonio DeMarco and Gavin Rees since moving up in weight, and looks to have the body to move to 147 without much change in his game. Also, Malignaggi is, with due respect to him, a titlist who right now appears ripe for the picking. He's not a puncher, and doesn't seem to have any physical advantages over Broner -- he's not quicker, not stronger, and he's got years of hard work on his legs.
Of course, Malignaggi also has experience and savvy on his side. It's an interesting idea, at least.
Keith Thurman, who faces Jan Zaveck on Saturday in a WBO eliminator (a fight that likely leads to nothing, since Top Rank's Tim Bradley holds the WBO welterweight belt), says he'd love to get in with Malignaggi in June:
"Paulie fighting a fighter two weight classes under shows he's not truly trying to fight a real welterweight, even though I would easily favor Adrien Broner in the fight, anyway. To be honest, I want that fight. I desire that fight 100%. We'll see what happens. I don't like talking too much about the future but I've called him out once before and I'm going to call him out again. He said that I had to prove myself; I believe this is a great fight and a great opportunity."
If it came down to it, would you rather see Paulie defend against Broner or Thurman?