Adrien Broner survived a slow start to defeat Paulie Malignaggi by a split decision and win the WBC welterweight title in his first fight at the weight Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Malgnaggi, a huge underdog, seemed to win the early rounds and outworked Broner much of the fight. However, Broner (27-0, 22 knockouts) clearly landed bigger punches than the light-punching New Yorker. That made the fight difficult to score.
The official scores were 115-113 for Malignaggi and 115-113 and 117-111 for Broner. I scored it 116-112 for Broner, who has now won major titles in three weight classes.
Broner might’ve dazed Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs) a few times but never seriously hurt him. Malignaggi didn’t land any memorable punches, instead relying on volume. He threw 843 punches (connecting on 214) compared to 524 for Broner (246), according to punch stats.
A full report will follow.
Photo: Al Bello-Gettyimages