By Jackie Kallen
Damn it would be fun to see 32 year-old Paul Malignaggi kick 23 year-old Adrien Broner’s ass in Brooklyn this weekend. Not because I don’t like Broner. I actually like the guy personally and think he’s a hulluva boxer. But Paulie is such a sweet, lovable guy and we all cheer for the underdog, don’t we? Well…some of us do.
Paulie has been known to do his share of smack talking. But no one does it better than Adrien “The Problem” Broner. He should have been a professional wrestler. He talks trash like no one. Their initial press conference was an x-rated, name-calling fiasco.
Although it was undoubtedly funny to a lot of people, some of their rhetoric got pretty ugly. Broner, who is moving up two weight classes to challenge “The Magic Man” for the WBA Welterweight belt, considers his opponent to be a “clown.” He claimed that he slept with Paul’s ex girlfriend, who allegedly said that Paul roughed her up.
Malignaggi called Broner a “sissy” and says he punches like a bitch. He downplayed all of Broner’s opponents and said he will not succeed at the heavier weight. He took shots at his name (“Your mama gave you a girl’s name.”)
Broner made fun of the two KO losses that Malignaggi suffered against Amir Khan and Rocky Hatton. That led to more insults between the two and left Paulie making fun of the way Broner talks. (“You try to sound like a cheap version of Floyd. You stutter like him, too.”)
Now that the fight is days away, the fans will get a chance to see who comes out on top. The fight will not be won on talk alone. Paulie has never lost at 147 pounds and seems comfortable at the weight. Adrien has never fought in the 140s and has come in as light as 128 1/2 against a couple of opponents. He weighed 132 when he fought Gavin Rees in February of this year. He is 5’7″. Paulie is close to 5’9″. However, Broner has a slight advantage in reach.
When it comes to punching power, Broner has the clear edge. He has stopped nearly 85% of the men he fought. On the other hand, Malignaggi is known as more of a boxer, having only scored 7 KOs in 36 fights. But Broner has knocked out much lighter, less prestigious guys. So it gets a bit tricky trying to compare them that way.
There are those who feel the younger, more powerful man will generally beat the older, more experienced and heavier man. I have seen that many times and believe it is usually true. But there are exceptions and Paul Malignaggi may be one of those.
The Showtime co-main event should be an interesting one as well. 30 year-old Johnathon Banks shocked the boxing community last November when he stopped then unbeaten Seth Mitchell in Atlantic City. It was just a few weeks after his trainer/mentor Emanuel Steward passed away and Banks’ emotions were raw and fueled him. Can he do it again?
The two are close in size and age and this is definitely a grudge match. Mitchell was not happy–to say the least–to get beaten. Especially in that fashion. He is gunning for Banks and intends to even the score against him.
It would be nice if Banks could prove that he is the real deal and can do it twice in a row. That’s his plan. I feel Mitchell has the edge. but my heart says Banks. It’s that Kronk connection.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen