By Luis Sandoval
While WBA Welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi’s next fight still has not yet been determined, he is already back in the gym preparing for whatever is next. Malignaggi was getting in his workout at the Wild Card gym with trainer Eric Brown and spoke to BoxingScene about his thoughts on a possible clash with Broner which is currently being discussed for June.
Malignaggi is very confident that if he indeed takes on Broner he will be Broner’s toughest test to date and will come out victorious. The always candid Malignaggi didn’t hold back as he said he feels Broner has been fed handpicked opponents and also went off on HBO for being the ones who are responsible for it.
“Like I said, I don't have anything against Adrien but if we fight I got something for him. It's not to say I don't think he has a good future. It's not to say I don't think he's a viable contender even moving up two weight classes because he does have talent but at the end of the day what have we seen from Adrien Broner? We've seen a lot of handpicked opponents and we could've all been 26-0 against that kind of level of opposition. We could've all been there,” Malignaggi fired to BoxingScene.com.
“You got to look at what's in front of you. HBO pays for some pretty filthy garbage to put Adrien Broner in. I remember a couple weeks ago Adrien fought Gavin Rees in a main event. Vicente Escobedo fought Edner Cherry off TV. How does a guy off TV get a better opponent than the guy in the HBO main event?? You guys ask yourselves that question? I mean the garbage HBO puts out and I’m not even saying that because I work for Showtime. I'd be saying this anyway. The garbage they put out there is filthy. There are better opponents on ESPN. It's crazy”.
Broner is quickly becoming one of boxing’s biggest stars and he has become a staple on HBO already. While many feel he’s being groomed to be the next superstar and take over where Floyd Mayweather will leave off, Malignaggi thinks HBO is forcing the issue of Broner being a star instead of having it happen on its own by defeating solid competition.
“[HBO] can try and sell us Adrien Broner all [they] want and it’s nothing against the kid. Adrien's doing what he's supposed to do. He's supposed to take that kind of money and take that kind of opposition and make the most out of it. But honestly, them trying to build a star; what are you doing? They are pushing the sh*t out of Adrien and he's barely making those numbers now. Now he's starting to make those numbers after they've been pushing him, and pushing him and pushing him against one bum after another. I'll give him the DeMarco fight but there's been one or two fights in Adrien's career where I don't even think he won them. There's one earlier in his career and the Ponce De Leon fight,” Malignaggie would tell BoxingScene.
“Like I said it’s not to say he's a bad fighter. He's a good fighter. I think he's got a good future. I wish him the best before me and if we do fight, I wish him the best after me. I don't hate on anybody's career because I know it’s a hard way to make a living. But honestly man, you don't pick stars; you allow them to become stars. You can try as hard as you want; it's not going to be there. They say he's the next Floyd Mayweather but really what made Floyd Mayweather a star? Beating Oscar De La Hoya and beating Ricky Hatton. If he didn't have those opponents, Floyd would've been a solid, a terrific actually, world level fighter but he wouldn't have got the credit. He wouldn't have got the fan fare; he wouldn't have got a lot of it. Adrien doesn't have that kind of opposition. Acting like Floyd Mayweather isn't going to put him there no matter how hard HBO tries”.
We’re still not sure if we are going to get Malignaggi-Broner in June but if we do, the stage is already being set by the Magic Man.
You can watch Malignaggi's video interview in its entirety on BoxingScene: http://www.boxingscene.com/malignaggi-unleashed-jabs-broner-thurman-hbo--63162
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.