By Ryan Burton
Two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi is slated to face WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner on June 22nd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Broner will be jumping up two weight classes in an attempt to capture a third world championship. On a recent edition of BoxingScene's official audio show, The Boxing Lab, Malignaggi explained to us how the fight came to fruition.
"It was higher than all of the other offers except for (the) Abu Dhabi (offer against Diego Chaves or Humberto Soto) and for whatever reason that didn't work out. That was going to pay me even more without even knowing the opponent and that is what I was looking to do but it just didn't work out. This was the best offer in the U.S.," Malignaggi revealed.
The WBA welterweight champion feels that he was chosen as Broner's opponent for one reason in particular. Malignaggi only has 7 knockouts among his 32 victories and he feels that he was seen as a "safe" opponent for Broner, who also has also won a title in the super featherweight division.
"There has always been this idea to look at me as the weak link in the division. When you are looking at world titles I stand out. People look at other champions like say a Lucas Matthysse, this guy can take your head off with one shot. Some of these guys do this well or do that well," Malignaggi said as he also pointed out that he never has had trouble getting fights. "My strengths aren't really looked at as a threat. That is why I think I've never had a shortage of fights. Being that I have something that other people want and crave then I get better offers because I have been lucky enough to win two world titles."
Malignaggi feels that his size will be a big advantage when he steps in the ring against Broner. He said that Broner has been made out to be this huge lightweight when in reality he has been fighting smaller fighters who have came up in weight to fight in.
"Here's the thing. The myth about Adrien Broner is that he's a big lightweight. The truth is that he fought midgets with the exception of Antonio DeMarco. They put small guys in like Eloy Perez and Gavin Rees who aren't even good fighters. They made this perception that he's a big lightweight when really he's 5'4 or 5'5" at the most and he's been fighting bums," Malignaggi told us on The Boxing Lab.
The Italian-American fighter has recently landed a job doing commentary on Showtime's boxing programming. His fight against Broner will be televised by network rival HBO but Malignaggi said that he plans on continuing with his commentating work throughout his training camp for the fight.
"It's been brought up and it seems to be okay but I want to talk to Stephen (Espinoza) directly. I want to give him that respect. I love my Showtime job and I want to keep doing it. It doesn't really take up too much of my time. There's a busy stretch from mid-April through May 4th but after that there's only a fight every few weeks so it should be okay," Malignaggi stated.
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