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Paulie’s got a big “Problem”

Paulie Malignaggi takes a big right hand from Adrien Broner during Saturday night's split-decision loss at Barclays Center. AP Photo

Malignaggi Feels Disrespected After Split-Decision Loss to Broner

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Not enough ringside seats for his people, not enough political ties to get the star treatment from the judges in his home borough, and certainly not nearly enough respect from his young, arrogant opponent.

Bensonhurst native Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi felt slighted in virtually every manner possible following his split-decision loss to Adrien "The Problem" Broner in Saturday night's headline bout before a record crowd of over 11,000 at Downtown’s Barclays Center.

And only moments after the 23-year-old challenger from Cincinnati took his welterweight title, Malignaggi had his say.

“Boxing’s all about a bunch of [B.S.] and politics,” Malignaggi exclaimed in the ring after two of the judges gave alternating versions of a 115-113 score, while Tom Schreck, the focal point of the 32-year-old two-time world champion’s ire, gave the fight to Broner with a 117-111 tally.

“I got a good job [as an announcer with SHOWTIME],” Malignaggi added. “I’ve made some really good money in boxing. I don’t have to box after tonight. I’m not saying [the fight] was fixed, but the more politically connected fighter always gets the close decisions.

“I’d like to see just one time where the less politically connected fighter gets the close decision!”

The Eagle had the fight in favor of Broner, giving Malignaggi the first two rounds and a split of two others while judging the other eight for Broner, who improved to a perfect 27-0 while capturing his third world title.

In the post-fight press conference, Malignaggi suggested those who saw the bout that far in favor of the mouthy Midwesterner should “visit a LensCrafters and have their vision checked.”

He also cited Broner’s lack of character, both inside and outside the ring, and complained that his opponent didn’t do nearly enough to leave the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues with his championship.

“He wasn’t busy,” Malignaggi noted. “In his spots, he was sharp. But he only worked about 30 seconds every round. Thomas Schrek is a New York judge. But I don’t know which fight he was watching. This was a close fight. It could have went either way.

“In my hometown as defending champion, I don’t think [Broner] did enough to take my belt tonight.”

With his mentor Floyd “money” Mayweather watching from ringside, Broner, who spent most of the week taking not-so-playful jabs at Malignaggi regarding a shared love interest, was busy talking to and taunting his opponent for much of the bout.

He also delivered the more effective power blows, landing thunderous right hands to rock Malignaggi at the close of rounds five, six and nine.

Malignaggi (32-5), not noted for his punching power with only seven career knockouts compared to Broner’s 22, didn’t seem capable of moving his adversary even when he did connect.

Nor did he get out of the way enough when Broner, who moved up two weight classes to take the fight, countered with a quick flurry, as evidenced by the marks on Malignaggi’s face during his post-fight diatribe.

But Malignaggi was clearly the busier of the two, throwing twice as many punches and coming back time after time despite being out-muscled during the close-in action.

None of that was enough to help him avoid a fifth career defeat, and one that doubtlessly puts the rest of his career in the ring, as well as his boxing legacy, in jeopardy.

“I’d welcome a rematch if he gives me one, but I’m not sure how much I look forward to training for these fights. I’m not 25 years old anymore,” Malignaggi confessed. “We’ll see.”

To Malignaggi, who had suffered previous high-profile defeats to the likes of Juan Diaz, Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, this loss had to sting the worst.

Especially since he was fighting as the headliner in an arena that didn’t even exist in his home borough when he first entered the ring as a professional in 2007 at Coney Island’s MCU Park.

“He’s a prick and a jerk-off”,” Malignaggi raged at Broner before exiting the podium with his entourage, which was apparently denied choice seating for the fight. “This was not a good night for boxing.”

Broner, who fancies himself the next big thing in boxing – and with SHOWTIME’s help and his own penchant for braggadocio -- might just achieve that goal, relished the role of villain in the days leading up to the fight.

He preened before the pro-Malignaggi crowd after building on his impressive ring resume.

“To come to somebody’s hometown and beat them in a split decision. That’s great to me,” Broner said. “He couldn’t hit me. He was shadow boxing. This is a tremendous accomplishment: 27-0 with 22 knockouts. Nobody is doing it like me. He ran, so all I had to do was cut off the ring.”

And when he was asked what he would take away from his first career fight at Barclays Center, Broner didn’t blink.

“I took [Malignaggi’s] belt and his girl!” he bellowed, nearly causing a melee in the ring between the two hostile camps.

After 37 career pro bouts and two world titles, Paulie Malignaggi felt he deserved better Saturday night, especially in his own home. It’s hard to imagine him letting Adrien Broner have the last laugh as he exits the squared circle forever.

Knowing the intestinal fortitude and ring savvy of the street-tough Brooklynite, he’ll be back for more.

***

With Malignaggi’s career clearly at a crossroads, another Brooklyn boxer announced that he would be joining the Golden Boy Promotions stable of fighters after Saturday night’s card.

Sadam Ali, who has gone a perfect 16-0 while promoting his own bouts, signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Oscar De La Hoya’s outfit, and may be fighting at the Barclays as soon as October, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who officially introduced Ali to the media.

“This is the biggest moment of my professional boxing career, but not the last big moment,” said the 24-year-old Ali, who became the first Arab-American ever to box for Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Golden Boy Promotions is the top promoter in the game today and I waited for this day for a long time,” Ali confessed. “Now the next step is fighting the best and winning a world title.”

***

Ring Notes: On Saturday night’s undercard, heavyweight Seth Mitchell (26-1-1) avenged his only career defeat with a unanimous decision victory over Johnathan Banks (29-2-1), though the action – or lack thereof during the fight -- moved the bored Brooklyn crowd to count down the seconds until the Broner-Malignaggi fight. With the win, Mitchell re-captured the NABO and WBC Heavyweight belts. … Brooklyn boxers who secured wins in the ring on the undercard included junior featherweight Juan Dominguez (15-0) and junior middleweight Frank Galarza (10-0). … Staten Island light heavyweight and former Olympian Marcus Browne improved to 5-0. … In other local boxing news, East New York’s Judah Bros. Gym will be the backdrop for a Made-In-NY movie called, “BARE KNUCKLE – STORY OF A B’KLYN FIGHTER.” Directed by Rick Mowat and written by up-and-coming screenwriter David Tianga, IdeaBlizzard and SnackPack Productions are producing the film that will star New Yorkers Zach McGowan (Black Sails, Shameless) as the lead, and Luis Guzman (The Taking of Pelham 123, Anger Management, Carlito's Way, Enemy Way),

Screen icon and former boxer Danny Trejo (Grindhouse, Heat, Con Air, From Dusk Til Dawn) is in final negotiations to star. Bare Knuckle is a wonderful, triumphant story of a boxer who takes on the fight of his life to win his daughter back through struggles, triumph and the power of love.

Pamela Lubell will executive produce with producer Stephen Greenwald of G&H Media, and GS2Law serving as legal counsel. McGowan is currently starring in SHOWTIME’s Shameless and the upcoming Michael Bay project, BLACK SAILS, the most expensive television show ever made.

The film will be shot in entirely Brooklyn, as a nod to its boxing history, utilizing the famed training facility to champions, by fighting guru Yoel Judah.

June 25, 2013 - 2:30pm


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