Broner beats Malignaggi in his own town to take welterweight title with split decision
Adrien Broner was the bigger talker and the bigger puncher on Saturday night, scoring enough hard blows to beat hometown hero Paulie Malignaggi in a 12-round split decision to take the welterweight title.
Take that: Adrien Broner (right) lands a punch on Paulie Malignaggi during their WBA Welterweight Title bout
With Floyd Mayweather Jr. watching from ringside, Broner talked throughout the fight to Malignaggi, who was game but wasn't able to keep Broner off of him. Broner was unable to knock Malignaggi down, but won round after round to take the decision in the fight at Barclays Center.
Broner had talked plenty before the fight, too, promising to knock Malignaggi out. He wasn't able to do that, but scored enough with lead right hands and left hooks to dominate the fight from the middle rounds on.
Despite that, one ringside judge had Malignaggi winning 115-113 while Broner was favored 115-113 by a second judge and 117-111 by a third.
'He's a world class fighter,' Broner said. 'To come to somebody's hometown and beat them on a split decision, that's saying something.'
Malignaggi did plenty of trash talking before the fight himself, and taunted Broner several times during the fight. But while he landed a lot of punches, none of them seemed to have much effect on Broner, who kept pressing the attack throughout the bout.
'He couldn't hit me. He couldn't hit me,' Broner said. 'He was shadowboxing.'
Malignaggi fought bravely and he fought hard, trying desperately to find a way to win before his hometown fans. But even though Broner was moving up two weight classes he was bigger than Malignaggi and, more importantly much stronger.
After allowing Malignaggi to take the first few rounds with his speed and precision, Broner began walking him down and landing some thudding punches. By the middle rounds he was hurting Malignaggi to the body, though after taking a body punch in the sixth round Malignaggi stuck his tongue out at Broner to taunt him.
'He worked for about 30 seconds every round,' Malignaggi said. 'This was a close fight. I don't mind if you had him winning close or me winning close, it was that kind of a fight.'
Proud: Broner said his opponent was 'shadowboxing' and couldn't hit him
Hometown hero: Malignaggi was fighting on familiar turf
Malignaggi, who works as a commentator for Showtime network fights, complained afterward that the loss was due to boxing politics.
Spoiling for a fight: Broner arrived in the ring in this gold costume
Mitchell, a former linebacker at Michigan State, knocked Banks down in the second round and did enough to win rounds after that. He ended up taking a unanimous 12-round decision in a fight that was heartily booed by the crowd at Barclays Center for a lack of action.
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