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Broner Plants His Stakes at Welterweight

By Jason Gonzalez


Brooklyn, NY - The art of trash-talking was taken to new heights and the incorporation of a “WWE-style” angle in which the winner of the duel gets the girl was firmly established. As a result, the contest between Brooklyn’s own Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi and newly-crowned WBA welterweight champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner saw a build up like no other fight in recent time. Last Saturday night, a raucous crowd of 11,461 flocked to Atlantic Avenue to fill up the Barclays Center to witness the pair settle the score.
 
As it played out, the 23-year-old Broner captured his third world title in as many weight classes. Broner, a champion at 130 and 135, bypassed 140 pounds to move up two weight classes to challenge for Malignaggi’s WBA welterweight strap. The first five rounds of the bout saw a solid start by Malignaggi, who peppered Broner with his jab to both his chest and body. Malignaggi was also very effective at keeping the fight in the middle of the ring. However, Broner was able to pick up the pace after round five and began to easily counter Malignaggi’s jab with lead right hands to the head. Broner followed this blueprint en route to a shocking split decision.

The scorecards of 117-111 and 115-113 in favor of Broner and 115-113 for Malignaggi inaccurately represented what had transpired in the squared circle. In the eyes of most observers in press row, Broner appeared to have taken full control of the action during the latter half of the fight. Maxboxing.com scored the bout for Broner 116-112 (eight rounds to four).
 
But even after all of this, the beef between Malignaggi and Broner continued to roil. The two failed to embrace and congratulate each other after the contest, though Malignaggi tried to offer his respect up close and personal. And in the post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, Broner managed to give Malignaggi a certain amount of props but left with these parting words, “I beat Paulie. I left with his belt and his girl.” Broner’s comments incited boos to cascade throughout the arena. You would be remiss to not regard the statement as inappropriate.
 
With the victory, the “grilled-up” Broner improved to 27-0, (22), while the loss forced Malignaggi to drop to 32-5, (7).
 
But instead of letting bygones be bygones, Malignaggi chimed in with his own two cents. In regard to the 117-111 scorecard, Malignaggi accused New York judge Tom Schreck of being “in Al Haymon’s pocket.” In an effort to substantiate corruption, Malignaggi told Grey, “I thought it was an entertaining fight and the fans got their money’s worth but it’s a lot of bullsh*t. There’s politics and you get bullsh*t like this. It’s part of the game and somebody should do something about it. I don’t have to fight again. I made good money in boxing and I work with you guys at Showtime. I’m not saying it was fixed but it’s always the more politically-connected fighter that gets the decision in a close fight.”
 
Juan Manuel Lopez was suspended and fined for making similar comments about an official after his rematch loss to Orlando Salido. It doesn’t seem like action will be taken against Malignaggi but truth be told, such comments can have major repercussions. Malignaggi could lose his job as a Showtime announcer. He conveyed to the public that he isn’t neutral.
 
Although Broner may have buzzed Malignaggi over the course of 12 rounds, he did however fail to convince those watching that he belongs at 147 pounds. Broner’s speed and power seemed sketchy and if Broner does indeed decides to stay at welterweight, his next opponent will be Marcos Maidana. Maidana would have a great chance at checking Broner’s chin. Broner’s in-the-ring behavior is consistent with his outside shenanigans leaving one to think, just how serious is Broner about his craft, his professional bread and butter?
 
“He fought exactly how I thought he would fight,” said Broner, who admitted to talking to Malignaggi during the fight. “I did this for my fans. He couldn’t hit me. He was shadowboxing.”
 
There are talks of a possible showdown with Floyd Mayweather (who was in attendance) two years from now. Broner didn’t do anything to get the pundits to demand that fight. It would have been interesting to see how Malignaggi would have fared against Broner three or four years ago. It seemed like Malignaggi’s 32-year-old legs betrayed him and equally seemed hard for Malignaggi to sustain the rapid pace he opened the fight with. Malignaggi also lacks the punching prowess to create any fear or, at the very least, earn the respect of his opponent. If Malignaggi had that power, it could have been a different fight simply because Broner would have been a little more apprehensive in terms of offense.
 
Be it as it may, the Cincinnati native didn’t seem too worried about whom his next opponent would be.
 
“I want the fans to pick my next opponent,” he said. “The highest percentage [in terms of voting] I’ll fight. I will fight anybody they want.”
 
In a rematch, heavyweight Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell, 243, of Brandywine, Maryland, avenged his knockout loss to Johnathon Banks with a unanimous decision by scores of 117-109, 115-112 and 114-112. Mitchell improved to 25-1-1 (19) in a snoozer to say the least. Mitchell dropped Banks, 216, of Detroit, Michigan, with an uppercut in the second round.
 
Banks, now 29-2-1, (19), rocked Mitchell in the third bad enough to have him holding on for dear life. Unfortunately for those in attendance and the spectators at home, the action cooled off considerably after that. Banks would hurt Mitchell again in the eighth but failed to follow up. Mitchell won most of the rounds due to Banks’ inactivity.
 
Super middleweight Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika, 167, of Sydney, Australia, captured the vacant WBC championship belt (consensus champion Andre Ward dumped the strap) while simultaneously boosting his résumé to 32-5-2 (21).
 
Bika scored a fairly close majority decision over the previously unbeaten Marco Antonio Periban, 167, 20-1 (13), of Mexico City, Mexico. The scorecards read 116-112, 115-113 and 114-114.
 
The bout contained some wild toe-to-toe exchanges. There were also sloppy periods too that ran throughout the course of the fight. Both fighters dogged it out in the trenches  but obviously, this style of fight benefited Bika, which is why he prevailed as the victor.
 
Three-time U.S. Olympian Rau’Shee Warren, 117, of Cincinnati, Ohio improved his ledger to 5-0 (3) after stopping Jiovanne Fuentes. Fuentes’ corner threw in the towel early in the second round. Fuentes, 116, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico touched the canvas twice in the first, and once more in the second. The loss brings Fuentes’ record to 5-2 (4). The official time of the stoppage was 1:04 of the second frame.
 
Undefeated junior middleweight Julian Williams, 155, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania kept his “0” intact, improving to 13-0-1 (7) after thoroughly outboxing Joachim Alcine, 154, of Gonaives, Haiti, over the course of eight rounds. The scorecards read 77-72 across the board. With the loss, Alcine dropped to 33-5-1 (19). Williams dropped Alcine in the first, after unleashing a deadly combination to the head and body. Alcine touched the canvas twice in the fourth and once more in the fifth.
 
With Williams smelling blood, he did manage to step on the gas pedal. However, with Alcine being the crafty veteran he is, he did manage to hang on to hear the final bell.
 
Shaolin’s own Marcus Browne, 176, extended his knockout streak to five as he improved to as many wins after knocking out Ricardo Campillo, 176, of Obregon, Mexico. Browne knocked down Campillo, who has now fallen to 7-7-1 (5), down early in the first round. Browne then picked up where he last left off, finishing what he started in the second frame. An onslaught of hooks to Campillo’s head dropped him yet again. This prompted Campillo’s corner to throw in the towel. The official time of the stoppage was 1:00 of round two.
 
Junior featherweight Juan Dominguez, 121, of Brooklyn, New York made quick and easy work of his foe Bradley Patraw, 122, of St. Paul, Minnesota. Dominguez improved to 15-0 (11) after stopping the overmatched Patraw in the first round. Patraw, now 9-6 (5), failed to make the 10-count after getting dropped. The bout was waved off at 1:36 mark of the same round.
 
Junior middleweight Frank Galarza, 155, of Brooklyn, upped his nod to 10-0 (6) after stopping Romon Barber, 155, of Wichita, Kansas in the fourth round. Galarza utilized his reach and showed great poise as he controlled the tempo of the fight. The time of the stoppage was 1:54.
 
Lightweight Robert Easter Jr., 133, of Toledo, Ohio earned the fourth knockout of his career, extending his winning streak to 5-0 (5). Easter made quick work of his opponent, Antoine Knight, 132, of Merrillville, Indiana. Knight, now 2-4 (1), called it quits at the 1:46 mark of the third frame. Easter dropped Knight in the second via straight right hand and the onslaught continued in the subsequent round.
 
In the opening contest of the evening, 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 133, of Coram, Long Island, improved to 4-0 (2). Herring demonstrated proper professional growth in the fight, showcasing an ahead-of-schedule learning curve, cruising to a four-round unanimous decision over Calvin Smith, 132, of Pritchard, Alabama. With the loss, Smith dropped to 2-4. The scorecards read 40-36 (twice) and 40-35.
 
Jay Gon’s Tidbits
 
-  Point blank, Golden Boy Promotions needs to come up with better fights on the non-televised portion of their undercards.
 
-  Malignaggi and Broner both acted foolishly in the aftermath of their outing but let me emphasize this: Broner was worse.
 
-  In their post-fight press conference, Malignaggi threatened Broner’s brother for staring at his family.
 
-  French Montana is not a real emcee. He’s not even a rapper. He is a trendy pop artist with rapper “swag.” Mi gente, don’t let them fool you.
 
-  Broner should drop to 140 for now. He is too small to be a welterweight.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to “Jay Gon” at jg51593n@pace.edu. You can also visit him at www.facebook.com/jason.gonzalez.39 and follow him at www.twitter.com/jaygon15.
 
 

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