Last night at Brooklyn’s Barclay Arena, Adrien Broner won a Split Decision over Paul Malignaggi to take the WBA World Welterweight title and remain undefeated (27-0). For Broner, it became more of a test than was expected, as the light hitting Malignaggi used skill and resiliency to keep coming at Broner. In the end, Broner has earned a World Championship in a 3rd weight class, to go with his Superfeatherweight and Lightweight titles.
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For a little while there has been a growing buzz around the boxing world that Adrien Broner is the next big thing. Right now, his career trajectory is high because of good management and they almost made a mistake with Malignaggi last night.
Malignaggi, a New Yorker, was fighting in front of his home crowd, and he is a high skill guy with a lot of experience who is known as a light hitter. Should be tailor made for Broner, who is coming up a lot in weight and is not going to want to get hit by a true KO artist.
Malignaggi, for all his value as a fighter and as a draw, has always lost to the better opponents on his resume (Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto). Malignaggi has been stopped late in dogfights a few times, and Broner failed to take him out despite visibly trying to finish the fight in the later rounds.
Broner is going to need to step up and fight one of the top names. Broner proved against Malignaggi that at 23, he is blown up to be at 147 lbs. and needs to look at returning to Lightweight or fighting at 140 lbs. The bottom line is a list of opponents out there that Broner won’t fight will get long pretty quickly.
Would Broner risk a fight against Robert Guerrero, Floyd Mayweather’s last opponent? He was blown up also, but at 140 it would make for a terrific fight. I doubt Broner takes that fight.
Or what about the aforementioned Amir Khan? Broner did well in hostile territory in Brooklyn, but that is nothing compared to the reception the Brits will give his hoodlum persona. That could be a big money fight if Khan continues to rehab his name, but I doubt Broner takes it.
What about taking on the winner of Timothy Bradley – Juan Manuel Marquez? Yeah right…..