On Saturday night in New York City, one of the most hyped Welterweight fights in the last year was fought over 12 very hard rounds with the WBA Champion Paulie Malignaggi defending his title against the young Challenger Adrien Broner in front of a sell out audience at The Barclays Center in Malignaggi’s home town of Brooklyn. With such big characters in the boxing world who are both top ranked Welterweights, this really had the makings of a classic match up with Broner being picked by every pundit to knock out the Champion within 6 rounds. These predictions were aired at the press conference with both boxers showing little (or no) respect for one another. This fight was definitely on.
With Broner making his usual entrance to the ring with his entourage in full tow, he made every effort to exude self confidence and an air of brashness which clearly showed his intentions to go with his prediction and knock out the Champion. Paulie Malignaggi’s ring walk just showed with his confidence in stepping into the ring as an outsider, and this was clearly not what he was thinking. (He was also wearing a very cool bandana)
The fight began with Malignaggi being the offensive fighter, and Broner covering up with some success, but Malignaggi didn’t let anything get in the way of his game plan. He threw some beautiful combinations to the head and body of Broner, who didn’t seemed phased by the offensive tactics of the Champion who was scoring with some good combinations and counter punches. In round 3 Broner received a warning from the referee for trying to trip up Mallignaggi in a rather bizarre incident which should of cost him a point deduction. In round 6 Broner tried to step on the gas and throw an all out assault on the Champion, who in turn fought smart and defended with some beautiful boxing skills as he showed us once again that his chin can take a solid punch and come back with his pugilistic talent . The fight continued into round 10, which is the first time Broner has ever gone into double didgits, so this was brand new Territory for Broner and the many people watching the fight. Broner continuously made attempts to get Malignaggi on the ropes to land some clean shots to the body and head, but Mallignaggi is too schooled of a fighter not to fall into any of those situations. It was a very tough fight for both men and as we found out later, for the judges also.
The fight ended at the end of round 12 and from what the commentators were saying that the fight was “a wash out”. I was feeling a bit stumped by these scores and thought I might of seen a different fight than what they had been watching, (or I was just putting it down to tiredness on my part). I had it very close with a point on either side deciding this, you couldn’t really argue. Jimmy Lennon Junior announced the scores as being a split decision and you could hear the crowds reaction to this. 115-113 in Mallignaggi’s favour, 115-113 in Broners favour. The last scorecard was read out with Tom Schreck scoring 117-111 in favour of Broner. With the other 2 scorecards being reasonably similar and then having a 6 round difference appears inconsistent to say the least. But I guess that’s boxing!
In the post fight press conference Mallignaggi was quite direct with his comments on the fight and the decision by the final judge who gave the fight by such a huge margin.
“That was disgraceful. This was a close fight. The fight could have went either way. I don’t think he did enough to take the belt from the champion tonight,” he said.
“I’m not saying it was fixed, but the politically more connected fighter always gets the close decisions.”
This fight did not end with the usual respect you have when boxers build a fight up, box for 12 hard rounds and then hug and make up. There is still a high degree of animosity between both camps and the fight was not decided upon last Saturday night.
Personally I thought Broner had initially scrapped a one point win when I watched it at 5am on Sunday morning. However when I watched it again later on Sunday evening I scored it Malignaggi win by 2 rounds. He was not the biggest puncher, but he was regularly scoring and was to me the more offensive and aggressive fighter.
Adrien Broner showed skills and a great defense and is being hailed as the new Floyd Mayweather. For me, he is only half way to that achievement, and there are allot of very hungry talented welterweights who would love to have the chance to knock him out.
For Paulie he went the longest anyone has ever gone with Broner. This is no mean feat at all and he showed that he is still one of the best welterweights in the world and will win another world title in no time at all. Personally I would love to see him have a rematch against our very own Amir Khan. I believe this will be a different fight and result to the one we saw in 2010 in New York City when the 2 men fought in an absolute war.
A BIG THANKS to my good friend Charles for sending me these live pictures of the night. Please follow and support Charles on Twitter @Ceekay0510 (TeamFL) as well as @TEAMLEFTJAB boxing blog for the very best news and exclusive interviews from the USA.