It was tougher than expected, somewhat controversial, and the victor somehow managed to make himself look like an absolute tit (worse than usual), but there would be no upset on Saturday night (June 22, 2013) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
In the main event of a three-fight Showtime boxing card, former two-division titlist Adrien Broner had a successful debut at 147 pounds, defeating hometown favorite Paulie Malignaggi to capture the latter's WBA title.
In the opening rounds, Broner's customary early inactivity allowed Paulie to rack up a quick lead, using volume and speed to score with regular flurries on his mostly-immobile opponent. While Broner caught many of the punches on his forearms and was taunting Malignaggi at every opportunity, the rounds basically had to go to Paulie by default -- despite his notoriously-poor punching power failing to make a dent.
Starting in the fifth round, however, Broner's output increased and the power difference became clear. Adrien constantly exploited Paulie's low left hand with powerful lead rights. As he came on, Paulie's own output waned, although both men continued jawing and showboating with a vengeance.
Though Broner landed continuously, he likewise failed to make a dent in Paulie, not even wobbling the Brooklynite despite a steady diet of power shots. Nevertheless, save for taking time off in the tenth round, "The Problem" seemed fairly in control for the remainder of the fight.
Two of the three judges decided that Paulie hadn't quite banked enough early rounds, giving Broner the split decision on scores of 115-113, 113-115, and a suspect 117-111 that Paulie viciously tore into during his customary post-fight rant.
With the win, Broner picked up his third title in as many weight classes, but thoroughly sank any chance of entering fans' good graces by taunting the conquered after the fight by mentioning his relationship with one of Paulie's ex-girlfriends, claiming he "stole his belt and his girl." Paulie, meanwhile, most likely earned the ire of the higher-ups, accusing Broner's manager, Al Haymon, of paying off the judge that scored it 117-111 in favor of the winner.
All in all, it was a fight that left a bad taste in my mouth and probably many others, too, not helped by the fact that it was immediately preceded by a godawful heavyweight fight between Seth Mitchell and Jonathon Banks. At least the Bika vs. Periban fight that started the evening off was entertaining.
For quick results and full coverage of the night's proceedings, click here.