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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Malignaggi nixes Broner re-do for now

By Michael Woods

Funny thing, this boxing. One might think that a loss would set Adrien Broner back a few steps, puncture his momentum bubble. But it's a fair bet that there won't be a dropoff in viewership in the next Adrien Broner fight, simply because fans are now ultra-curious to see how the Ohio-based 24-year-old bounces back. Or, to be more specific, IF he bounces back.

I put that question to Paul Malignaggi, the boxer-Showtime analyst, who fought Broner in June, and called his fight Saturday against Marcos Maidana. Will Broner bounce back from this fight, which saw him get manhandled at times by the Argentine?

Adrien Broner
Will Adrien Broner bounce back?
"Yeah, but maybe 140 pounds would be better for him," said the 33-year-old, who is mulling options for his next tangle, after downing Zab Judah in an intra-borough battle of Brooklyn Dec. 7. "But there's a risk his confidence won't be the same, only time will tell."

Those hoping to see a chastened boxer, to have some of that cocky 'tude diminished by the loss, they were out of luck, as Broner drew scorn for running from the ring, and not doing a postfight interview in the ring. Also, when he did talk post-fight in the dressing room, his ego seemed fully intact. He boasted about his plan to party it up that night, like he won, and he solicited a payday from a club owner, whoever purchased his appearance at their establishment.

I have grave doubts, I confess, about Broner, because of the panicky manner in which he responded to being yanked into deep water with a lead-filled life-jacket makes me wonder if he can obtain the calmness needed to act smart when he gets buzzed. Malignaggi told me he thinks he maybe could, but because he was rushed, he didn't learn that skill, that grace under severe fire.

"He never throws punches when he's in a tough situation," the ex-WBA welter champ told me, "where he's got to think his way through. He's too stationary and overall just not very intelligent as a decision maker when the heat is on. He's good, he's just not the guy everyone made him out to be."

Malignaggi admitted he's still mildly steamed that Broner, on camera, said he didn't take their bout seriously, a contention shown on Showtime's "All-Access" documercial series. "He's in a lot of denial, maybe Maidana beat some sense into him," he said.

And what if Golden Boy tried to make Malignaggi-Broner II next?

"Nah, I have nothing to gain fighting him now," he answered, "but in the future if he won some fights I would do it. He's better off dropping down to 140 pounds though."

What about a crack at Maidana, who has the belt Broner took of Malignaggi? Or maybe Danny Garcia, the 140 pound champ who is soon to graduate to 147? "Garcia is a great fight," Malignaggi said, "he and Maidana are great opponents, and it would be a tremendous fight with either one of them."