Paulie: Broner crossed the line

June, 19, 2013
6/19/13
4:47
PM ET
A guy like Paul Malignaggi is well versed in how to sell a fight, how to stir the pot with trash talk to keep people talking about a forthcoming scrap. He will admit to you that a certain amount of the bluster is purely calculated, that often when he's verbally sparring with a foe prior to fight night, he's fully aware that he's playing a role as a hype artist. But going into his Saturday clash at Barclays Center with Adrien Broner, I do get the sense that the trash talking did veer over the line, from manufactured drama, to a zone where it became a bit too real.

[+] EnlargePaul Malignaggi
Jeff Bottari/Getty ImagesPaul Malignaggi
When Broner started talking about a gal-pal Malignaggi used to know, and the interactions she and Malignaggi allegedly had, that went over a line, the Bensonhurst boxer told me Tuesday at an open-to-press workout at Gleason's Gym.

"I didn't appreciate what happened," he said of Broner's broadsides. "You're affecting my personal life, you can keep it sporty, and talk trash and can tell me you're going to put me in the hospital, you can say all kinds of stuff, and after the fight, it's like whatever, it's a game face. ... But don't bring my personal life into it, my personal life is my personal life, it's not for public knowledge."

Malignaggi knows the drills, he said; he is fine with Broner promising to stop him or beating him up. "I say great, we're ready for it, bring it. The harder he tries, the more ass whupping he's going to get. I want him to bring it. ... He's never been to those deep waters. You better try real hard to get me out early. You try to get me out early, you better succeed. You're going to work at a heavy pace trying to get me out of there. That's what he's saying. I want that, I relish that, I want that kind of fight."

NOTE: Golden Boy switched things up, and are NOT having the weigh-in at Barclays. Instead, it will be held Friday, 12 noon, at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Outdoor Plaza (188 Montague St.). It will be open to the public.
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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