On June 22 Adrien Broner, the WBC lightweight champion and widely regarded as the top lightweight in the world, will be moving up to face Paulie Malignaggi at welterweight. Much has been speculated pertaining to whether Broner will stay at 147, settle in at 140, or even attempt to return to 135 after the fight. Naturally, much of it will likely depend on how he fares in the ring as a welterweight, and if the results are a positive or negative sign.
However, according to World Boxing News, Broner requested to the WBC board that he fight Malignaggi as the WBC lightweight champion. The WBC board was also told that Broner would be returning to fight at 135 after his bout with Malignaggi at 147. In his temporary absence, the WBC has ordered an interim title fight between Nihito Arawaka and Omar Figueroa in the lightweight division.
Here is what WBC spokesperson Mauricio Sulaiman had to say on the matter:
"Adrien Broner requested to the WBC board of governors to fight Paul Malignaggi in a welterweight fight, but as the WBC lightweight champion. We were told that after the fight he will return to the lightweight division and after the WBC rules contemplated this scenario we realized there are several precedents. The WBC have now ordered an interim title fight between Arakawa and Figueroa and the winner will fight Adrien Broner"
If Broner does return to 135, he would then face the winner of Arawaka - Figueroa. At least that would be the WBC's plan.
So is there anything to make of the fact that Broner has told the WBC he plans on returning to the lightweight division after the fight? Is it really in the cards or not? If not, then why waste everyone's time by saying you would return to the class in the first place? I can't think of any benefit, really, because the Malignaggi fight is not a title defense for him or anything. It's a fight for Malignaggi's belt, whether Broner holds a lightweight belt or not. Even if he were to lose to Malignaggi, it would seem a difficult proposition to make it back down to 135 unless he weighs in at something around 140 for the bout.