When you're Adrien "The Problem" Broner, just winning isn't enough. The same concept will apply when The Problem faces WBA welterweight champion Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The two men have exchanged a number of barbs during the buildup for the fight, but Broner has definitely taken the lead on the trash talk scorecards. Take a look at the pre-fight press conference:
Broner's talent and bravado demands spectacular performances each and every time he appears in the ring. For the most part, he has never failed to meet these lofty standards. When he faces Malignaggi, Broner will be looking to win his third world title in as many weight classes.
When you consider the fact that he's just 23 years old, The Problem could be on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
There is some question about Broner's level of competition to date. In 26 fights, he's faced only three fighters whose names would ring a bell in the heads of most boxing fans. Broner stopped Vicente Escobedo and Antonio DeMarco in 2012 and he won a unanimous decision over Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2011.
Beyond those three opponents, he hasn't faced top-notch competition.
Malignaggi isn't exactly a world beater, but he is an experienced and crafty champion at 147 pounds. Broner's exploits have taken place at 135 pounds primarily; he's jumping two weight classes to challenge a man who has been in the ring with the likes of Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Juan Diaz.
While Malignaggi has been in the ring with some of the better fighters of his era, he hasn't beaten any of them. Because of this, it would not look good for Broner if The Magic Man finds a way to hand him his first loss.
Punching power is non-existent when it comes to Malignaggi. He has only seven KO wins in 36 professional fights. Though he is a skilled boxer, it is hard to imagine a scenario where he could get the best of Broner.
Even if Malignaggi has his moments early, the fighter most believe Broner to be should have Malignaggi worn down by the middle-to-late rounds. Malignaggi has always been tough and shown a great chin despite his lack of punching power, but Broner has built a reputation as a power puncher.
In theory, an athletic, heavy-handed fighter like Broner should stop someone like Malignaggi. However, when a fighter jumps up in weight, there is a concern as to whether he will be able to hurt heavier opponents.
Broner can put that concern to rest by stopping Malignaggi.
If The Problem allows Malignaggi to go the distance, this will be seen as a so-so performance and despite holding a title at 147 pounds, his stock won't rise.
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