WBA welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi recently spoke candidly with Luis Sandoval his thoughts on HBO pushing Adrien Broner, and Keith Thurman's intelligence, among other topics.
Paulie Malignaggi spoke at length with BoxingScene.com's Luis Sandoval about his career, his next fight options, Mayweather-Guerrero, and more. If you can't watch the video right now, here's a bit from Paulie about Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman, two guys who have been connected to Malignaggi recently.
On Adrien Broner:
"I never even pictured Broner as a possible foe or opponent, ever. When it got brought up to me I was kinda surprised and shocked. I think he's a good little fighter. He's got some skills. I just don't think he's big enough. I don't care who he spars. I spar in the gym, I don't spar on fight night. His trainer, a good trainer, Mike Stafford, he said Adrien spars with middleweights so he can handle me. Whatever, man. I don't spar on fight night. I fight on fight night. We wear eight ounce gloves, we don't spar. If that move up don't bother him, then why not? I think he's talented, I think he's good, I just think there's weight classes for a reason, and if we fight, I intend on showing that."
"I like the fight. I like the fight a lot. I like the fight a lot. I've seen some people saying Khan's speed bothered me and Broner's speed should bother me, but it's a different kind of speed, a different kind of style. Different kind of height, which really makes a big difference. He's a little guy, he's about 5'4". I've stood next to Adrien. He's not a big guy at all, I don't care how wide his shoulders are. He does have skills, I just haven't seen somebody who can punch him in the mouth yet. I got enough speed and skills to catch him. We'll see what happens. I'm not trying to knock the kid, it's an ambitious move to move up two weight classes. I think they're biting off more than they can chew."
"He said it's AB time, it's PM time, too, man. Whatever. If we make the fight, we make it, if not, I don't have anything against Adrien. If we fight, I've got something for him. It's not to say I don't think he's got a good future. It's not to say that I don't think he's a viable contender even if he moves up two weight classes, because he does have talent.
"But at the end of the day, what have we seen of Adrien Broner? We've seen a lot of hand-picked opponents, and we could have all been 26-0 against that level of competition. We could have all been there. HBO pays for some pretty filthy garbage to put Adrien Broner in. I remember a couple weeks ago, Adrien fought Gavin Rees in a main event. Vicente Escobedo fought Edner Cherry off TV. How does a guy off TV get a better opponent than the HBO main event? I'm not even saying this because I work for Showtime, I'd be saying this anyway. The garbage they put out there is filthy. There's better opponents on ESPN. It's crazy.
"You can try to sell us Adrien Broner all you want, and it's nothing against the kid -- listen, if we get free money and free fights, as a fighter we're gonna take it. Adrien's doing what he's supposed to do. But honestly, them trying to build a star, what are you doing? I won a world title against Lovemore N'dou, and I was one of the highest-rated Boxing After Dark shows in a long time. Nobody was promoting me. Nobody gave a shit about promoting me, but I still managed to get high ratings, and it wasn't because of my opponent.
"They're pushing the shit out of Adrien, and he's barely making those numbers now. He's starting to make those numbers, after they've been pushing him, and pushing him, and pushing him against one bum after another. I'll give him the DeMarco fight, it was a good fight. But there's been fights in Adrien's career where I don't even think he won them. There was one early in his career, and then Ponce De Leon. It's not to say he's a bad fighter. He's a good fighter. He's got a good future."
"You don't pick stars. You allow them to become stars. You see somebody like Canelo Alvarez, he can sell out the MGM Grand like this. That's a star. When you try to push, push, push a guy in front of us, that's not how it happens. It's either there or it's not. You don't push it out there. You can try as hard as you want, it's not gonna be there. They say he's the next Floyd Mayweather, but really, what made Floyd Mayweather a star? Beating Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Without those opponents, Floyd would have been a terrific world-level fighter, but he wouldn't have got the credit, he wouldn't have got the fanfare.
"Adrien doesn't have that kind of opposition. So acting like Floyd Mayweather's not gonna put him there. No matter how hard HBO tries, no matter how hard everyone wants to put him on boxing magazine covers, even though he did nothing. ... It's not his fault. It's everybody else's fault. Adrien's doing him. He's fighting whoever they put in front of him and he's taking the money. He should. It's not his fault. But really, man, the politics of this shit is funny."
On Keith Thurman:
"Keith's not a bad fighter, but Keith is a dummy. Keith's a little bit of a dummy. This is called prizefighting. The guy that brings the most money to the table, is the guy who fights for the title. This is a business. I saw the interview, he said I'm a businessman. So he should understand that. He should learn to be a businessman, too. This is called prizefighting. I know Floyd Mayweather called Shane Mosley a dummy a couple years ago, because he said, 'Yeah, I fight for the money. It's called prizefighting.' Well, I'm a prizefighter a well.
"When Keith Thurman brings the most money to the table, then I'll think about fighting him. Right now, he doesn't even bring main event money. So why would I take a pay cut so I could fight Keith Thurman? I don't like him that much. I think he's a good fighter, I don't have anything against the kid, but I don't like him that much that I'm gonna take a pay cut just to fight him. That's not how I do business. I'm looking for the most money, and right now, the most money is not with Keith Thurman, it's with other fighters. So those are the guys I'm looking at.
"Do I think Keith Thurman has a good future? Yeah. I think he's improving. First time I saw him last year against Lora, I thought he sucked. I don't know what the big deal was, he was loading up and getting wild all over the place. I don't think he looked against a guy who took the fight on a week's notice. Since then I've seen some improvements, and I think he's got potential. When the fight represents the most money, I'll fight him. I don't box for my health, I don't box for fun anymore, I don't box because I like it, I box to make money and make a good living for myself. That's what I'm here for."