BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he is considering a lightweight unification bout between undefeated WBC beltholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner and twice-beaten British WBO counterpart Ricky Burns for June 15, or possibly opposite WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi on June 22.
Burns (35-2, 10 knockouts) recently cut ties with English promoter Frank Warren, most likely dissolving an April 20 unification bout with Mexican IBF beltholder Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KOs), though some reports say the fight could still happen.
“I’m going to talk to Frank again on Monday, and I’m going to make it publicly known as well that if he wants to fight Adrien Broner, that we are ready to go — if that’s what he wants,” said Schaefer.
“So we’re going to do one of two things. We’re going to go June 15 from the Mandalay Bay [in Las Vegas] with Broner against Burns, or, we’re going to go June 22 with Broner against Paulie Malignaggi at Barclays Center. Paulie has agreed to the fight.”
Schaefer made his comments at Barclays Center in Brooklyn prior to Friday’s weigh-in for Saturday night’s HBO-televised matchup between 48-year-old former RING light heavyweight and middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins and IBF 175-pound titleholder Tavoris Cloud.
A winner of five straight welterweight fights, two of them by knockout, Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) informed RingTV.com recently that he had been formally contacted by Golden Boy about a potential fight with Broner (26-0, 22 KOs), who is 23.
“I think that Adrien is a very talented guy, but it’s a very winnable fight for me. Adrien is a guy who is getting a lot of hype and a lot of press, so a win over a guy like that would put me in a great spot,” said Malignaggi, 32, of Broner, who scored his sixth straight stoppage victory in the fifth-round last month against ex-beltholder Gavin Rees on HBO.
“So it was brought up to do a fight with Broner at June 22 at Barclays Arena. Obviously, it’s a fight against a guy that people consider to be the future of the sport, yadda, yadda, yadda. So, having said that, if Adrien wants to take a chance on a welterweight opponent like me and he’s that confident, then why not?”
A native of Brooklyn, Malignaggi has not lost since falling by 11th-round knockout as a junior welterweight against Amir Khan in a failed bid to earn the WBA’s 140-pound belt in May of 2010. Malignaggi is coming off October’s split-decision victory over Pablo Cesar Cano at Barclays Center.
Burns, who turns 30 in April, has won 20 consecutive fights, seven by stoppage, and is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Kevin Mitchell in September.
Vazquez is coming off December’s unanimous decision over previously unbeaten prospect Mercito Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs), a victory that marked his fifth title defense and his 12th straight win during that run.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Scott Heavey, Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org