Adrien Broner clearly beat Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday night. The latter can claim corruption and bought off judges all he wants, but nobody watching his bout this weekend thought he legitimately won. If there was any real controversy stemming from the final decision, it was the fact that Broner won via split decision and not unanimous decision.
No rational boxing fan will make the case that Broner should have lost the Malignaggi fight. What can be argued, however, is that he didn’t win it in particularly impressive fashion. Mind you, Malignaggi came into this bout off an eight month layoff and with exactly one notable victory since 2010. At 32, it has been and is clear that The Magic Man’s best days are behind him and that his future is with the Showtime announcing crew.
The fact that Broner couldn’t do more damage to Malignaggi is indicative of at least one of the following points: 1.) fighting against welterweights noticeably decreases his typical power advantage and/or 2.) he hasn’t yet faced an adequate enough quality of competition for us to accurately gauge his place on the pound-for-pound charts.
A 2014 showdown against Manny Pacquiao, presuming the Filipino star can get past Brandon Rios in November, would answer a lot of questions. Broner is in desperate need of a signature victory. Pacquiao is looking to re-establish himself as a top-tier contender. Both men would have everything to fight for, and they have enough name recognition to make this thing work on a business level.
It’s time for Broner to take the next step in his career, and a match-up versus Pacquiao is that next step.