SAN DIEGO, June 21, 2013 – Adrien “The Problem” Broner and Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi have trash talked their way through the weeks leading to their weltertweight title bout Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Neither man would ever be mistaken as shy or retiring.
Putting them next to each other on stage at news conferences has been like attaching the wrong end of the charger to your car battery.
Most of the conversation isn’t fit for a family news site. It’s online should you care to hear them call each other out about their personal lives. You might not want to play it out loud at work or in front of the kids.
Now the Meeting of the Mouths is just hours away. Thankfully for fight fans, it’s time for these boxers to put up or shut up, literally.
Both Broner and Malignaggi made weight, just under the 147 pound limit, with Broner at 146.8 and Malignaggi at 146.4. Both looked to be in good shape. Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) is coming up in weight class for this fight. At age 23, he’s been touted as a rising star for several years. He styles himself as a Floyd Mayweather type fighter and the heir apparent to Money, working his defensive skills along with his punching power inside the ring, while talking smack and showing off outside the ring.
Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), age 32, has experience, heart, and speed on his side. He moves well in the ring. He can take a punch. What he doesn’t have is tremendous punching power. He’s an underdog in the fight. But he’ll have a lot of fans on his side. He’s fighting in his hometown of Brooklyn, and he’s got respect because he’s always been willing to face good fighters. His losses have been to Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Juan Diaz, and Amir Khan in 2010. But he has done well since including his victory over the undefeated Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Broner hasn’t faced anyone who could be considered a real threat. At the same age, Broner’s role model Mayweather had already beaten Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo twice. Broner’s perfect record has been as carefully preserved as a museum exhibit.
Broner is a talented fighter and natural athlete but he’s still an unknown quantity because he hasn’t been tested. He seems to lack discipline and he certainly lacks self-control when it comes to various aspects of his behavior out of the ring. If he isn’t careful, he could join many other promising boxers who let their appetites and temper override the development and application of their skills.
Many fans would love to see the underdog Malignaggi humble Broner in the ring. They are thinking with their hearts, not their head. Broner will likely start slow as he always does, and give the Brooklyn fans a thrill seeing their man Malignaggi get ahead. It’s always possible Malignaggi will get lucky and tag Broner early, especially if Broner gets careless.
But don’t count on it. Broner will turn up the heat and should be able to get a decision.
The better fight is on the undercard. Heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell enter the ring for a rematch of their bout last November. Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) surprised Mitchell (25-1-0, 19 KOs) with a second round TKO. Banks had taken over training Wladimir Klitchko for his mentor Emanuel Steward, who died just three weeks before his bout with Mitchell. It was an emotional victory for Banks honoring Steward.
Mitchell, the former Michigan State linebacker turned boxer, immediately asked for a rematch, and got it. It’s been an emotional time for Mitchell as well. He found out his wife was expecting their third child the day after his defeat. Two weeks ago, the baby due in July was delivered stillborn. It’s a bigger blow than any punch, but Mitchell says he is relying on his deep faith in God to believe he faces this adversity for a reason.
Banks weighed in at 216.6 pounds, and Mitchell at 243.8. Banks is down nearly two pounds and Mitchell up two pounds from their last bout. It’s an important fight for both men. Banks’ future success is as a trainer, but he intends to stay in the ring as long as he can.
Banks and Mitchell are soft spoken and thoughtful, both showing each other great respect as men and athletes. These are the guys who should be role models for your kids.
Let’s do a little trash talking of our own on Saturday night. Communities will host a Live Boxing Chat beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, June 22 for “Showtime Boxing: Broner-Malignaggi.”
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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