Heading into Saturday night’s showdown between Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi, everyone had a pretty clear idea of how the fight would look. The latter would employ his quickness and hope to outpoint his foe en route to victory, the former would rely on his strength and power. Despite the fact that Broner was moving up to welterweight, it was all but a given that he would do significantly more damage to his opponent than vice versa.
Sure enough, when it was all said and done, everything mostly went according to plan. Malignaggi was able to effectively use his speed advantage in the first few rounds against Broner, who is a notoriously slow starter, but as the match went on he was quickly overwhelmed. In the end, it wasn’t anywhere nearly as close as what the judges made it seem.
The official scorecards were: 117-111 and 115-113 for Broner, and 115-113 for Malignaggi. The reality is, regardless of whether you want to go by the eye test or by the cold, hard numbers, 117-111 is far closer to what the bout was than any of the other scores.
Despite the fact that Malignaggi threw 300 more punches, he landed 32 fewer. Moreover, whereas his blows had virtually no impact on Broner, the same couldn’t be said for when Broner connected. Malignaggi can claim corruption all he wants, but the fact remains: the right person won last night.
Far more interesting than Broner’s victory, however, is where he goes from here. With titles at junior lightweight, lightweight and welterweight, he is clearly boxing’s most impressive young star. He now needs opponents that are on his level, in terms of name recognition and/or skill level.
Manny Pacquiao has a fight lined up with Brandon Rios this November, but after that his schedule is wide open. If he can emerge from his next bout victorious, he would be an ideal target for Broner.
If Broner wins, he is immediately catapulted to the very top of the pound-for-pound charts and has his first signature win. If Pacquiao wins, he is instantly a contender to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. It’s a win-win, really.
Will this match happen? Who knows. Should it happen? Absolutely.