By Chris Cella
Over the past few weeks there have been two separate conversations circling around the boxing world…who would be current WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi’s next opponent, and is two-time champion Adrien Broner ready to step up to the next level of competition?
There have been talks about Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO) facing Sugar Shane Mosely as well as Diego Chaves, but both fights fell through. At the same time there have been talks following Broner’s (26-0, 22 KO) impressive win over Gavin Rees Feb. 1 who he would face, and if he was ready to move up in weight to take on the big names of the boxing world.
Last night it was announced by Richard Schaefer—Golden Boy’s CEO—that a bout between the two current champions is closed to being finalized for June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“I’ve been told that the purse bid situation has been taken care of, so they’re trying to move ahead with the Broner fight now,” said Malignaggi. “I know that Adrien wants it, and I know that I want it. So it’s something that’s worth doing, especially right here. That would be awesome.”
Malignaggi’s career has been decorated, winning world title and throwing hands with some of the best, coming up short in a few championship bouts. But what has stood out about the now boxer/commentator is his ability to continue to fight on and win the fights he needs to.
Since his loss to Amir Khan in 2010, The Magic Man has won five straight and proved that at 32, he is still a formidable opponent in the 147 pound weight class.
If this fight is confirmed, it will be a big step up for Broner, who currently fights at 135. Rather than stepping up and fighting the elite at 140, he would overlook the division and battle Malignaggi, which will undoubtedly question his readiness to face the best of the best.
But at 23 years old, Malignaggi may be the most appropriate opponent for the rising star Broner. Malignaggi has fought the world’s best; he has already accomplished what amateurs dream of. With his level of technique and experience, Broner will get the full workload of what he needs to face in order to truly make a name for himself.
This style matchup—although diverse on paper—would be a good battle within the ring. Malignaggi has the speed, technique and ring sense to make Broner work, something fighters have been lacking against him. Broner has been able to rely on his opponents conforming to his style and walking into his attack. Malignaggi knows better, and will make Broner work for the points in this chess match.
If this bout is confirmed for good, the boxing world will be in for a treat. Malignaggi will be able to show that he still has what it takes to beat the elite fighters; while at the same time Broner can prove he is ready for any level of competition.