BROOKLYN — Prior to Friday’s weigh-in at Barclays Center, site of Saturday night’s Showtime-televised clash between RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia and ex-titleholder Zab Judah, WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi and rising WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner engaged in some smack-talking that threatened to steal the show.
Broner, 23, and Malignaggi, 32, engaged in two, separate, obscenity-laced exchanges.
“He can take this wherever he wants to. If he wants to talk about my bedroom life, then take it to my bedroom. Honestly, this is all in fun, man. This is nothing that I haven’t been through before as far as trash talking and talking a lot. I’ve always actually wanted an opponent that could try to match me, talking-wise,” said Malignaggi, 32, who will face Broner on June 22 at Barclays Center on Showtime.
“Because I’ve always kind of been the big talker in my whole career. And nobody could ever sort of match that talk back at me. I actually wanted a promotion like this to see how high we could really reach and how high we could really go as far as selling the promotion and talking a lot of trash. But at the end of the day, it does make me want to kick his ass. I’m sure that it makes him want to kick my ass, but only one of us is going to win, and I’m just better.”
Malignaggi (32-4, 7 knockouts) said the action began when Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) began to stare at him while he was in the midst of an interview with a sports station.
“The way he’s talking, that’s going to make more and more people pay attention to this fight, and it’s going to make more and more people pay attention to what he’s saying, and in June, when he reacts like a sissy, it’s all going to come back and blow up in his face. Because he’s going to say ‘You know what? I could have just kept my mouth shut, and I could have just been a sissy to myself, now, I’m broadcasting the fact that I’m a sissy.’ He’s a sissy. At the end of the day, he’s a little sissy,” said Malignaggi.
“As soon as I take it to that point where he doesn’t want to take it, he starts talking about about my clothes, and he starts talking about this or that. I’ve probably made as much money as he has. Right now, we’re on the same playing field. As soon as it gets to the point where I’m talking about how much of a bitch he is, or how scared he is, or it’s face to face, and it’s about his character, here, he veers right off to another subject. Because he don’t want to take it there. He don’t want to talk about that.”
But it was Broner who told a small gathering of reporters that he saw fear in the eyes of Malignaggi.
“He was scared. It’s easy work. It’s on the floor like a floor tile, man.Don’t hide behind cameras and be tough,” said Broner, who is coming off February’s fifth-round knockout of Gavin Rees.
“When he saw me, he didn’t want to say nothing to me. I’m for real. I ain’t worried about nothing, man, and guess what? My checks bigger than his. He was scared. You all seen that. He thought he had seen a ghost, and I ain’t talking about [Robert] Guerrero.”
But as Broner addressed the earlier incident, Malignaggi walked over and jumped in.
“Keep lying to yourself. It’s good for your health,” said Malignaggi. “You’re a p—y. You’re a p—y. I don’t fight amateurs. Amateurs are p–sies.”
Malignaggi then brought up the name of a fighter whom he claims defeated Broner in the amateurs.
“Whoever that is. Who? I don’t know him. I’m a world champion, and I did it,” said Broner. “I’m going to f— you up, man. I’m going to f— you up. That’s easy money, man. We’re not worrying about it.”
“They gave you your title. I ain’t giving you this title. I’m going to f— you up. You can’t hang with me. I’m going to f— you up. Stop copying my s—, man. I’m going to put you in the hospital after the fight. Don’t talk about my clothes. You can keep changing the subject, but that don’t change the fact that you’re a p—y, though. Change the subject. Your teeth are going to be loose in a couple of months,” said Malignaggi.
“I’m going to give you summer teeth for the summer. Some are going to be here, some are going to be there. Some are going to be on the canvas. Some are brown, some are yellow. I’m going to knock your teeth out, dog. I won the world the world title with a knockout. Who the f— are you knocking out? If I had your opponents, I would have more knockouts too. You fought Gavin Rees your last fight, and we hadn’t heard from Gavin Rees in 10 years.”
Broner has been training recently with IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson, who will make his second defense against THE RING’s No. 1-rated 140-pounder Lucas Matthysse on May 18 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Showtime.
Of course, that’s my big brother. He’s looking nice. Ripped up,” said Broner, who will skip the 140-pound class in pursuit of his seventh straight stoppage victory against Malignaggi. “He looks like stays in shape. It’s amazing work. Just to sit around to watch it, you should pay us. You’ve got to pay us just to watch.”
Broner has been on a roll since winning a unanimous decision over current WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon, a southpaw, in March of 2011, and run of showmanship and in-the-ring bravado that has included stoppages of Jason Litzau, Vicente Martin Rodriguezm Eloy Perez, Vicente Escobedo and Antonio DeMarco.
Malignaggi is, nevertheless, critical of Broner’s competition.
“I’ve been in with better fighters, and I’m more battle-tested, man. I’ve been punched in the mouth. When I get punched in the mouth, I come back. When he gets punched in the mouth, have you ever seen him come back and fight? When he gets punched in the mouth, when he’s been in with anybody that has been punched in the mouth, does he do anything except pose and kill the round and not fight anymore? That’s what he did with Daniel Ponce de Leon, and that’s what he did with Fernando Quintero,” said Malignaggi.
“He hasn’t really been in with good, quality fighters that can hit him, you know what I’m saying? Honestly, Antonio DeMarco, that guy got happy, he took a good pay day, and he’s like ‘You know what? I want to retire with my family.’ Isn’t it obvious the way that he fought? I mean, he didn’t even try. He gave up quick after being all bloody and being in a tough fight with Jorge Linares. I think that he had enough and didn’t really try. He tried and then he just packed it in.”
Malignaggi believes he will represent Broner’s most difficult task to date.
“Broner hasn’t really been in with a guy who is going to take him into that deep level. I’m not saying deep as far as rounds, I’m talking about you’re going to have to breath heavy and get through a round and try to keep winning when you don’t want to be in there any more. When you have to think to yourself, ‘This isn’t where I want to be any more.’ He hasn’t really had to push himself to that level. And when he does get pushed, he doesn’t react very well. He folds up like a bitch. He is a little bitch. He’s a little sissy. The kid is a sissy, and watch, in a couple of months, all of that is going to come out when he’s going to have to back up all of that talk. He’s a sissy.”
Aside from Malignaggi, Broner addressed rumors that he had been knocked out in sparring by junior middleweight Errol Spence (4-0, 3 KOs), of Desoto, Tex.
“Me and Errol Spence never sparred in Vegas. That’s stupidity,” said Broner. “Me getting knocked out? Be serious. If you believe that, then you believe that there are 32 days in July.”
Broner also said discussions of his future, including a drop into the 140-pound division, would have to wait.
“I don’t have to talk about no weight. What’s weight? Last time I heard, skills win fights,” said Broner. “We don’t look past no opponent, even though I know that I’m going to f— Paulie up, that’s not what I’m worried about.”
Broner also addressed the fact that Malignaggi represents his first bout on Showtime.
“I’m going to tell y’all something,” said Broner. “I’m going to be real clear. I’m Mr. HBO, but I’m a Showtime affiliate.”
Banks stopped Mitchell in the second-round in November. Mitchell’s Feburary return bout with Banks was canceled after Banks suffered a broken right thumb.
Video: Ryan Songalia
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com