By Marc Livitz: Despite the fact that last month’s May 4 showdown between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Robert Guerrero dominated the headlines of professional boxing, a certain impromptu press conference which took place that same summer morning in Las Vegas had its own collective share of notoriety. Punch statistics still have yet to be calculated for next Saturday night’s WBA welterweight championship bout at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York between Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (32(7)-4(2) and Adrien “The Problem” Broner (26(22)-0), yet the category for verbal jabs and insults have already run off the page. The two champion fighters have held nothing back in terms of their thoughts for the other and any sort of filter for colorful and shocking verbiage is virtually nonexistent. Adrien Broner fired the first shots at his Brooklyn foe from the podium at the MGM Grand last month by way of informing him that his ex girlfriend was now in good hands. Paulie answered with his typical amount of voracity and was kind enough to let his Cincinnati opponent know that he was handling damaged goods.
The verbal smears continued for upwards of half an hour and many writers expressed their collective disdain for what had taken place. Nevertheless and as is usually the case, there is no such thing as bad publicity and potentially disturbing news is often even better news. Earlier this afternoon, the two boxers participated in what turned out to be an abbreviated media conference call. Adrien took to the phones first and shortly thereafter Malignaggi’s voice could be heard and the proverbial slinging of mud began yet again. His outbursts in May put him in some hot water with the executives at Showtime Sports, where Paulie serves as an on-air fight analyst.
The undefeated Broner is seeking to make history of sorts and join the select company of Roy Jones, Jr., Roberto Duran and Robert Guerrero as the only professional fighters to move up two weight classes and win a world title in the first outing within their new respective division.
Selected highlights listed below.
Opening statements from WBC lightweight champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner: “I’m ready to go and this will be a hell of a show. I’m not worrying about jumping weight classes. I know I’m going to do a lot of great things in the sport and I’m going to do it the right way. You’re going to see something explosive. He’s bringing pillows to a fight and I’ll be throwing bricks.”
Broner on making the jump to welterweight: “The weight is no problem. I’m originally a welterweight and I just had to lose the pounds to get to 135 (pounds). It’s my regular weight. I walk around at about 147 pounds.”
Adrien explains why added weight doesn’t guarantee knockouts: “In terms of power, you are either born with it or not. Weight doesn’t give you more power. Manny Pacquiao was knocking guys out when he was a small guy and he still did it after he got bigger.”
“The Problem” on dropping back down to the talent laden light welterweight division in the future: “I’ll fight anyone who will fight me. I’m not worried about names or how hard anyone hits. I’ll fight anyone who wants to fight Adrien Broner.”
The WBC champion’s thoughts on Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi: “He’s a great talker. I’ll give him that. He’s got some great talent as a commentator. He’s a world champion and he wouldn’t be there without his fights. I’m not worried. In a year or two, I will be the ruler of boxing. As a fighter, well, I really don’t study tape. My coaches do that. I know that if I’m in shape, then I’ll be ready. I wouldn’t call him a veteran. He is a slippery fighter and he can slip away for a victory if you don’t get at him.”
Adrien’s plans to let the fight live up to the hype and Paulie referring to his face as that of a “Ninja Turtle”: “I always say something and do it in the fight. His female doesn’t think I look like a Ninja Turtle. Jessica doesn’t think so. He admitted that my talking got to him. For me, this is just boxing. He can’t get in my head. That’s a negative. I’m wining on the (June) 22nd. He could bring a knife, an AK (47) or a 9mm with an extended clip and it won’t help him.”
Broner’s closing statement: “I will make history on June 22. Only a few guys have ever done it (win a title in their first shot after having moved up two divisions) and I’ll be another. I’m going to (expletive) Paulie up. He’d better keep practicing his lines because his job with Showtime will be the biggest one he keeps. Hopefully the referee will stop this fight before he gets too bloody so he won’t have to wear sunglasses on TV for too long.”
WBA welterweight champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi’s thoughts on Broner: “He’s a real guy and he has a lot of power. I don’t think he made the most intelligent move to jump up to welterweight. He’ll end up looking like he stuck his face in a blender. We’ll see how bad he really wants it, but he’s going to go through a lot of pain before he loses.”
Paulie on Broner’s fight resume and how to win: “There can’t be a real way to pinpoint how to beat him because he’s fought such bums. Any of them could have had a chance to beat him. Anyone breathing would have a chance. Essentially a living corpse has a chance. We’re just preparing to be very sharp. He’s fighting somebody real this time, so I can’t really train based on anything I saw in a video of him.”
Malignaggi downplays the thoughts on the level of satisfaction in defeating Broner: “The fight of the moment is the most satisfying until you get to the next one. You always need to focus on the task at hand and that has to be the fight that’s in front of you.”
“Magic Man” discusses his future: “I don’t expect to fight much longer, but I will as long as these types of fights are around. I take every year one year at a time.”
Paulie’s thoughts on Broner’s climb up two weight classes and why he chose to fight him: “It’s a very ambitious move and he’s trying to build a legacy. It was a fight that was offered to me and at first I thought it was too good to be true. This was the one that would pay the most.”
Closing statements: “I don’t have any final comments. Enough has been said already. I’ll just see you all next week.”
June 12, 2013