By Jake Donovan
Months of senseless trash talk finally comes to a halt, at least for 12 rounds or less once the opening bell sounds.
Paul Malignaggi enjoys his second straight home game, as he defends his welterweight belt against Adrien Broner in Saturday’s main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The bout serves as the main event of a televised tripleheader, airing live on Showtime (9PM ET/6PM PT).
Malignaggi (32-4, 7KO) attempts the second defense of the title he won on the road in the Ukraine more than a year ago with a beatdown of Vyacheslav Senchenko last April.
Broner (26-0, 22KO) looks to capture his third alphabet title in as many weight classes, jumping two weight divisions in order to realize that goal.
Most experts have Broner – currently the highest-rated lightweight in the world – as a runaway favorite to dominate Malignaggi, to where there is greater concern of whether or not he’ll stick around at welterweight after the bout.
Does the staff at Boxingscene.com agree? Read on to find out.
PREDICTIONS – PAUL MALIGNAGGI vs. ADRIEN BRONER
“I think Malignaggi's jab will trouble Broner throughout the first half of the fight but I expect Broner to dominate the 2nd half of the fight as Paulie's legs fade. Broner by UD around 116-112.”
- Ryan Burton (Broner UD)
“… just because this can’t be a shutout among the staff.”
- Jake Donovan (Malignaggi)
“The odds indicate a blowout for Broner in a welter debut, but it seems a more difficult challenge for the rising lightweight than the books indicate. Still, he wins.”
- Lyle Fitzsimmons (Broner UD)
“I will preface this by saying that this will be the most motivated Malignaggi we have seen in quite some time but if we are to really believe that Broner is really as good as advertised he should be able to handle the game but overmatched champion. There will be times when we see Paulie doing well, maybe winning a round or two, but Broner's size and skill will be too much to overcome.”
- Ernie Gabion (Broner TKO10)
“Perhaps this will be the last fight of note Paulie ever fights. It will certainly be his worst showing and biggest beating. Broner brings his power up with him, beats Paulie up, and stops him in about five.”
- Richard Nadjowksi (Broner TKO5)
“I think Paulie Malginaggi is going to give Adrien Broner a pretty tough fight. I think Broner will be forced to think and adapt in this one due to Malignaggi's experience, ring smarts, and boxing ability. Still, I expect Broner to have a strong second half of the fight and I believe his punches will start to have a real effect in the closing rounds as he marches towards a decision victory.”
- Chris Robinson (Broner UD)
“This is some of the best proof yet of just how little merit there really is in so many of boxing's belts. Malignaggi is regarded by Malignaggi as a serious claimant to the Welterweight throne, and that's about it, though he has always been a solid pro. Broner, who has shown great potential in two terribly shallow divisions, is taking a very careful step up here against a guy who has never shown power. This looks like a walk.”
- Cliff Rold (Broner UD)
“Even with the climb in weight, Broner will still be effective and will carry enough of his power to do damage. Paulie will put up a fight and maybe even win some of the early rounds with his jab but I see Broner eventually figuring him out and doing damage late. If anything Paulie is still a durable guy and will make it the full 12 but will take punishment. “
- Luis Sandoval (Broner UD)
“I have been positively impressed of Adrien Broner's size and stature. A super featherweight just a year ago he is even bigger than Paulie, who wasn't a big light welterweight too. Broner is also more gifted, faster and punches harder. So I cannot see anything but a convincing win for the Problem. But Broner's punch is in question in this weight class, while Malignaggi's heart is not. That's why he will last a distance.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Broner UD)
Totals: Adrien Broner 8, Paul Malignaggi 1
The welterweight title fight between Paul Malignaggi and Adrien Broner headlines a televised-tripleheader, which airs live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (Saturday, 9PM ET/6PM PT).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox