Though the fight has its detractors, it's proven that personal issues can make money in boxing, and Paulie Malignaggi and Adrien Broner are doing their best to sell a grudge for their June 22 Showtime main event.
"[This fight] pays well. I felt it was the easiest out of all the fights they offered me. It was just too good to pass up. You just haven't seen him with a world class fighter. Anything a world class fighter does will affect Adrien Broner. Anyone could look good fighting dishwashers from across the street, which is essentially what he's been fighting. Let's step up to guys who can reach you and punch you in the mouth. I think he's a sissy and he's a punk."
Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO) has the experience edge, but he's also older and, to be honest, slower than Broner (26-0, 22 KO). Paulie is still a good fighter, without question, but he's very inconsistent. Though he tore through Vyacheslav Senchenko last year, he then seriously struggled with Pablo Cesar Cano in his next outing. If the Malignaggi from the Cano fight had fought Senchenko, he really might have lost, and we wouldn't even be here.
However, there is the Paulie from the Senchenko fight, and that guy could be a problem for Broner with a sharp jab, and a lot more boxing IQ than Broner is used to facing. Adrien has some good wins, notably over Antonio DeMarco last year, but for the most part he's been allowed to build his star while totally overmatching guys like Jason Litzau, Eloy Perez, Martin Rodriguez, Vicente Escobedo, and even Gavin Rees, a solid contender but stylistically made to order for Broner.
I think it's an interesting fight entirely because Broner is jumping up two weight classes, which is never easy, and because there is a version of Malignaggi I can see giving "The Problem" some real problems. Whether that guy shows up, we won't know until fight night.