Love him or hate him, Adrien Broner proved to be a superior fighter to Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday night and is ready to take the next step as one of boxing's premier stars.
Malignaggi was as effective against Broner as a pesky bee is to a black bear intent on getting honey out of a tree. He fought valiantly, giving everything he had to the task, but Broner barely paid him any mind on his way to earning the WBA welterweight title.
Despite the fact that Broner threw significantly less punches than Malignaggi, as noted by SHO Stats, he landed more than the veteran and barely felt the ones Malignaggi threw throughout the match:
In the end, Broner earned a split decision, as noted by Showtime Sports, winning 115-113 (Broner), 115-113 (Malignaggi), 117-111:
Though Broner wasn't able to knock Paulie out, he did land plenty of punishing blows that rocked the veteran boxer.
And while many fans (myself included) were hoping to see more action from Broner, the simple truth of the matter is that this 23-year-old phenom has three world titles, as noted by Andrew Williams (via Golden Boy Promotions) and is ready for greater challenges in the days to come:
For his efforts, Broner earned $1.5 million (via ESPN.com's Dan Rafael,) and he is quickly becoming one of boxing's most bankable stars. His rude, brash persona turns many fans off, but it's precisely because of this than many tune in.
People want to either watch Broner knock out his opponent or watch him get get knocked out. Controversy sells, and Broner never has any trouble brewing up a big batch of controversy before, during and after his fights.
After earning his split-decision victory, Broner took a pot shot at Malignaggi in his post-fight interview with Jim Gray, saying, "I came to town, took his belt and his girl," as noted by Golden Boy Promotions:
This young boxer is clearly ready to face the world's best—both in terms of boxing and trash-talking prowess. His ability to combine speed with power is a deadly combination, and there isn't a punch Browner can't throw.
He has proven he can win world titles in three different weight classes—showing impressive power in all three—and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Time will tell if Broner will be able to continue backing up his loud mouth with his powerful fists, but for now it's clear that he deserves nothing less than the biggest stage boxing has to offer.
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