The Barclays Centre in Brooklyn was the venue for a highly anticipated fight on Saturday night, seeing hot prospect Adrien Broner step up two weights to face the highly experienced Paulie Malignaggi with the WBA Welterweight title on the line.
The pre-fight press tour had amounted to the two fighters trading insults and getting quite personal, with Broner claiming to have stolen his opponents girlfriend, but none of what had gone before mattered when the opening bell sounded.
Many predictors had not expected that this fight would make it half the distance considering Broners impressive KO record and power, but Malignaggi is a tough fighter who has been in the ring with some of the best and only been stopped twice.
The fight went the way many had expected in the early stages with hometown boy Malignaggi being the busier fighter, and Broner happy to wait for openings to counter with power shots.
As the fight went on the trend continued with Broner failing to impress in the way he has in previous outings. Malignaggi’s movement and volume of punches were too much for Broner and, while he managed to pick off a lot of Malignaggi’s punches with his tight Mayweather-esque defence, a lot got through too.
Broner can consider himself lucky that Malignaggi is not blessed with power, and if a lot of other fighters in the division can get through as much as his last opponent did he might find himself getting hurt a lot more often.
On the night Broner failed to live up to his promise to knockout his opponent, with the fight going the distance.
We did however see a nasty side to Broner. Hitting on the break, punching Malignaggi while he had his back turned, dangerously leaning backwards on Malignaggi’s neck, and also appearing to knee him ‘below the belt’ at one point.
Any one of those could have been called a foul and lead to a point deduction, which could have changed the outcome of the fight considering how close the scoring was.
Brooklyn native Malignaggi even found time to exchange a few words with Floyd Mayweather at ringside during one round, which shows how little he was worried about the offence of Broner.
The fight went the distance and was eventually scored a 115-113, 113-115, 117-111, split decision to Broner, with the last card being an unfairly wide margin.
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