By Keith Idec
Paulie Malignaggi and Shawn Porter respectfully disagreed about whether Malignaggi deserved a victory over Adrien Broner.
Malignaggi and Porter both believe, however, that Porter is a better fighter than Broner, who beat Malignaggi by split decision nine months ago at Barclays Center in Malignaggi’s native Brooklyn. The 33-year-old Malignaggi will try to become a two-time welterweight world champion April 19, when he is scheduled to challenge Porter (23-0-1, 14 KOs) for Porter’s IBF 147-pound crown on the Bernard Hopkins-Beibut Shumenov undercard at Washington’s D.C. Armory.
“I felt like I did enough to not lose my title, to hold on to my title,” Malignaggi said about the Broner bout. “I do think it was a close fight, but I think I did enough to hold on to my title. I think, at the end of the day, that fight was always going to be a filler to fill Adrien’s bullsh-t resume, which is what it is if you look at it, pretty much, as a whole. But at the end of the day, it didn’t go my way and I’m not going to sit there crying over it. I’ve made my points about the fight and we go on and move on.
“And I actually think I’m fighting a better opponent than Adrien Broner. I think if you match up Adrien Broner against Shawn Porter, I think Shawn Porter beats him every time. Truthfully, on the grind, Adrien doesn’t like to fight. And I think Shawn would force him to fight at a pace that Adrien wouldn’t like and Adrien, as we saw in the Maidana fight, doesn’t have an answer when you force him to fight at a pace he doesn’t like, you know? So I think I’ve got a better opponent in front of me. I think I’ve got a more worthy world champion in front of me.”
Cincinnati’s Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) lost the WBA welterweight title he won from Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KOs) on June 22 in his first defense against Argentina’s Marcos Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) on Dec. 14 in San Antonio. Broner will try to bounce back from that defeat on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Maidana pay-per-view undercard May 3 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He’ll encounter Carlos Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), of Norwalk, Calif., in a 10-round, 140-pound fight that night.
Malignaggi, meanwhile, is concentrating on topping Porter, of Akron, Ohio, as part of a Showtime tripleheader. The 26-year-old Porter performed very well in his last fight, in which he convincingly out-boxed St. Louis’ Devon Alexander (25-2, 14 KOs) over 12 rounds to take the IBF welterweight championship from Alexander on the Malignaggi-Zab Judah undercard Dec. 7 at Barclays Center.
“I think anything I could take from the Broner fight doesn’t really apply here,” Malignaggi said. “I’ve got a better fighter in front of me. Really, the only thing, at the end of the day, that I took from the Adrien Broner fight is the media doesn’t know sh-t. Because everybody came in thinking he was going to be this big puncher [after moving up from lightweight]. And I actually came in respecting him a little too much at first, and it turned out Adrien couldn’t punch for sh*t. It was a lot of overhype that some of me subconsciously bought into [with] Adrien, and I’m definitely not going to make that mistake again. But Shawn Porter, like I said, I think he’s a better fighter than Adrien. But at the end of the day, it’s a different fight and a different kind of game plan.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.