COMMENTARY | Oh, the things you have to do these days to sell a fight if your name isn't Mayweather or Pacquiao.
Adrien Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) and Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) continue on with their press tour of trash talk leading up to a June 22 encounter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Never has a nothing fight been so well-publicized and anticipated.
Consider this a case study in promotion by social media as both fighters' heavy presence on Twitter and Facebook seems to be sustaining a continued buzz over what is, at best, a marginally intriguing bout. Literally, it's a welterweight title defense by the thinnest of all paper champions against a lightweight Floyd Mayweather clone.
Credit most of the buzz to the two participants and their natural instincts to be classless and crass. Both fighters are attention-starved quote machines savoring the spotlight of media attention--Broner, because he's a 23-year-old star on the rise with an army of hangers on to support and Malignaggi, because he's a 32-year-old with a gift WBA belt desperately clinging to relevancy.
So, to the casual fan, though, how would one describe Broner-Malignaggi?
Take equal parts Jersey Shore and World Star Hip-Hop, mix them up in a Golden Boy blender and dump the resulting sludge all over TMZ's target demo group.
"Adrien Broner is an ugly ninja turtle looking dude. I'm fly and looking crispy," Malignaggi recently said in a video interview. "I'm going to World Star you on that canvas and then I'm going to [expletive] on you. Don't let me drop you because I will lift up my skirt and [expletive] on you. I promise you."
"I take this serious but he's a clown," said Broner, sporting a 'Hey Paulette' t-shirt, at the fight's official press conference May 4. "He's going to come in with a lot of colors, with big feet and colored hair and I'm going to punch his nose red…You know with Paulie, once he starts running his shorts start falling off and his [hair] do starts sweating down and his colors start draining down his face mixing with blood making yellow and green colors. You know it's going to get ugly."
And what was Malignaggi's retort to the 'Hey Paulette' t-shirt?
"Your mom named you Adrien because she thought you were a [expletive]!"
Among the classless gems coming from this particular fight's promotion is an accusation from Broner that Malignaggi abused a former girlfriend (who is now 'with' Broner) and an ironic accusation from paper champ Malignaggi that Broner "hasn't even earned his way to the top" and has "gotten to this level on a free ride."
Hardcore fans accept that Broner-Malignaggi could be a somewhat interesting match-up of styles, but also recognize that the fight could very well result in a real ring dud-and, possibly, a one-sided one.
If the two fighters could fight with the same animosity in the ring as they do in social media, this could be a classic. But history tells us that Malignaggi, for all his flapping gums and bluster, is a cautious, defense-minded stylist who has never really punched with bad intentions and has only been a compelling performer when being pounded to a pulp. On the other hand, history tells us almost nothing about a motivated, angered Adrien Broner, who just recently arrived on boxing's main stage.
So, until the actual fight, just let the fighters keep talking and giving their own personal takes on the match-up. They're going to keep yapping, anyway.
"If it popped off right now, I would slap the [expletive] out of him, probably, but at the end of the day, you know, friends fight. I'll take him out to eat to get dinner. I won't get him a hot steak; I'll get him a cold steak for his eye."
"Adrien Broner has got a little bit of a sissy in him. I think when you start hitting him in the mouth, there's not much man in there and I'm gonna show that on June 22nd."
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Sources: Doghouse Boxing, Boxingscene, Boxingnews24
- Sports & Recreation
- Adrien Broner
- Paulie Malignaggi