By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Floyd Mayweather Jr. liked most of what he saw from Adrien Broner on Saturday night.
Boxing’s pound-for-pound king was a little surprised, however, that Broner didn’t stop Paulie Malignaggi in their 12-round fight for Malignaggi’s WBA welterweight title. Mayweather, who watched the fight from a ringside seat, also thinks Broner was too “flat-footed” on his way to a split-decision victory at Barclays Center that made the brash, unbeaten Broner a three-division world champion.
“I’m proud of Adrien Broner’s victory,” Mayweather said Monday before a news conference in Times Square kicked off an 11-city, nine-day tour to promote his Sept. 14 pay-per-view fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. “There’s a lot of things he still has to learn. Me personally, I feel that he should’ve got the knockout.”
His minor criticism aside, Mayweather emphasized that he’ll “continue to support” Broner.
The 23-year-old Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) considers Mayweather, 36, a mentor and both boxers have repeatedly stated that a bout between them won’t happen because they’re close friends. Mayweather made a reference Monday to “The Karate Kid” to explain why they won’t fight, despite that he and Cincinnati’s Broner both are welterweight champions.
“I look at Adrien Broner like Daniel-san and I’m Mr. Miyagi,” Mayweather said. “We never seen Daniel-san try and go against Mr. Miyagi.”
Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) also said it isn’t fair to compare Broner’s development to the way Mayweather was pushed early in his 16-year pro career.
“I just feel like with my career, a lot of times they try to compare the two,” Mayweather said. “I love the kid, but you’ve got to realize, just look at my career. I already fought a guy that was so crafty in Genaro Hernandez at 21 years old. I feel like in the sport of boxing now, a lot of these guys are fighting guys that’s handpicked, which I understand because this is a business, also.”
Mayweather, who won the WBC super featherweight title from Hernandez less than two years into his pro career, also commended Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs).
“For a guy not to be a big puncher and to be a two-time world champion says a lot about Paulie,” Mayweather said. “I’m proud of him. And his commentating [on Showtime] is unbelievable.”
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.