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Malignaggi vs Broner: Preview and picks from the BLH staff

Can Paulie Malignaggi prove the skeptics wrong again and take down Adrien Broner, or will 'The Problem' march forward with another win?


Ryan Bivins

Paulie does well as long as he's mobile, but his legs will eventually fail him. Broner by late TKO or decision.

Scott Christ

Malignaggi still has ring IQ and boxing skills, and he's got some hand speed, but his legs aren't what they used to be, or at least they didn't look good last time out against Pablo Cesar Cano. Cano is far below Broner in terms of talent and the ability to challenge or even negate the things Malignaggi is good at, even at his very best. Simply put, I haven't seen a Malignaggi yet who can beat the Broner we've been sold. If Broner can translate to 147, and I expect he'll be alright, he should take this fight over earlier than later, maybe by the fourth or fifth round. Paulie will have a game plan, and it might even be the exact right one, but Broner is too young and too talented. Malignaggi comes up short on the top level again. I do think Malignaggi will take it the distance. Broner by decision.

Fraser Coffeen,

There's no denying that there are flaws in Broner's game, but I think those flaws tend to get overstated by people who don't like what Broner brings to the table - that being his persona, his Mayweather-isms, and his general demeanor. But take all of that out and just focus on the fighter and you see a solid competitor with good killer instincts. He's not the defensive marvel that his idol Mayweather is, and he can indeed be hit. So yes, Paulie Malignaggi might hit him. But the soft-handed Malignaggi needs to hit him a LOT to really hurt him, and in the time it takes for him to make that happen, I see Broner landing a heavy shot to put him out. This just seems like Broner's fight in every way. My one and only pause is that Broner has already talked about dropping back down after this fight - a sign that the weight change is not agreeable? We shall see. Broner KO-5.

Tom Craze

This has been a fairly peculiar match-up since the day it was announced, and now that we're approaching the fight, it's still not one I'm really sold on the idea of.

Here's the thing: I think Broner beats Malignaggi at any weight, and the fact that Paulie's now a fully-fledged welterweight - there's no argument about that - doesn't really change anything. Broner's young, and he'll grow into the weight as the years go by, but I don't think his frame will struggle to deal with the extra pounds. It's hard to see him looking anything other than sharp, quick, and powerful as always.

Malignaggi's not going to outbox him, but he's going to try. But, unlike the way Malignaggi darted in and out against Senchenko, cutting him to ribbons in the process, Broner has the mobility and ring IQ to counter the movement. A decision here wouldn't surprise me here, but I think Broner does enough to close the show. Paulie's too good to be blasted out early, but he's going to tire in the second half. Broner TKO8.

James Foley

In a promotion filled with rampant misogyny and comically poor taste, it seems fitting that what we'll end up with in the ring will probably be the most offensive, biggest farce of all. For those who may have noted 'Oh, Paul Malignaggi's got a welterweight belt now? I wonder who Golden Boy Promotions will serve him up to?', here's your answer: Introducing Adrien Broner, the new WWHOGIVESASHIT welterweight titlist come Sunday.

Broner is younger, faster, more skillful, stronger, and any other positive attribute that might come in handy during a fight belongs to him. But Paulie's the bigger man, no? NO! That's a crock of crap, too. There won't be any significant size discrepancy, our eyes will alert us to that as soon as we see them in the ring. By the time Broner's done, all that will be left of poor Paully is a puddle of self tanner, a gold tooth, and a lone, disconsolate hair plug shimmying on the canvas. I favor Broner by TKO on either side of the sixth round.

Andrew Fruman

I'll be surprised if this goes the full 12 and it's very hard to see a way that Malignaggi can actually win. There was a point, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, when Malignaggi could have possibly used spoiler tactics to frustrate Broner, but his legs aren't what they were. Cano, with a slow, basic offense, was the sort of fighter Malignaggi should have been able to stick and move against. That he struggled to even last the distance against that level of opponent tells us enough about his chances against Broner. Broner TKO-9.

Kory Kitchen

I have made a valiant effort to talk myself into thinking this is going to be a difficult fight for Adrien Broner, but I just cannot bring myself to actually believe it will be. The size difference, if there even is one, will be minimal. Malignaggi is not a big welterweight, in fact he is a smaller one. He is not physically strong, and his punching power doesn't exist at the highest level of the sport (where he has always lost). In his prime at 140 maybe I could see this being more of match. But at this age, with his lack of power and slowed reflexes, I just can't see him being more than easy pickings for Broner.

Broner, for his part, has blazing hand speed and good power. I think his defense is a little overstated, but the area he has impressed me most is his combination punching. His punches flow in symphony when he gets going.

A one-dimensional fighter like Malignaggi simply doesn't have the versatility or firepower to hang with Broner over the long haul. Unless Broner shows up out of shape due to moving up two weight classes, expect a gradual beatdown after some early round tension. Broner TKO-11.

Dave Oakes

With all the smack talk and nonsense done, we can finally enjoy the fight, you know, the proper fight, where they throw punches and act like proper men. Some people have loved the build-up to this fight, two cocksure protagonists trying to outdo each other in verbal jousting. Personally, I‘d rather be repeatedly kicked in the balls by a mule than listen to them denigrate boxing with their inane ramblings.

To be fair, Malignaggi is a fighter I've grown to admire. A first look at him could make you believe he's a bit of a mouthy fancy-pants but delve deeper into Malignaggi's career and you'll find a fighter who has fought the best available opponents and showed plenty of balls when he's been in deep. Add that to the fact he's exceptional as an analyst/pundit and it makes you wonder why he bothers with all the badmouthing twaddle he comes out with prior to fights, he really doesn't need to.

Whilst Maliganggi has grown on me, Broner still has it all to do on that account - not that he'll care what I think, although I feel my opinion of him is somewhat similar to a lot of boxing fans - basically, he's a phenomenally talented fighter but one whose attitude and Mayweather-esque behaviour leaves a lot to be desired. Malignaggi was very near to the truth in the presser for this fight when he said Broner's a Mayweather wannabe. Broner is an incredible talent but his almost desperate need to be classed as the next Mayweather is both embarrassing and pitiful. I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said "Be yourself, everyone else is taken", Broner would do well to read that and remember it.

Mini rant over, I should get on to how I feel the fight will go. Whilst Broner is moving up in weight, there isn't a great deal of difference between the pair in terms of height and reach, Malignaggi edging both by an inch or so, with Broner looking the stockier of the two. Usually when a lightweight is moving up two divisions, you'd say the natural welterweight will be the puncher in the fight, that might not be the case come Saturday night.

Apart from experience, I can't see what other advantages Malignaggi holds over Broner. We haven't seen what Broner is like when he's dragged into the trenches but I doubt whether Malignaggi will be able to do that, with the defending champion's style being more suited to boxing and moving than standing and trading. That leads me to believe Broner's speed advantage will be key in this fight, in a similar way to that of Amir Khan's when he stopped Malignaggi in 2010.

Whilst Malignaggi is a good fighter, I believe Broner is an exceptional fighter, one who can achieve great things. Malignaggi won't fall easily but I'm having a hard time seeing a way in which he can win this fight. Broner should be too fast and too accurate for Malignaggi to deal with and I can see a lopsided points verdict in the challengers favour. Broner by decision.

Final Tally: Adrien Broner 8, Paulie Malignaggi 0.

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