Unbeaten Adrien Broner became a champion in his third different weight class on Saturday, beating Paulie Malignaggi by a split decision to take the WBA welterweight title. Two judges gave the all-American showdown of rival champions to Broner by scores of 117-111 and 115-113, while the third had Malignaggi a 115-113 winner.
Broner, also the reigning WBC lightweight champion and WBO super featherweight champion, improved to 27-0 after stepping up two weight divisions to fight Malignaggi in his home town of New York. Broner joined Roberto Duran, Roy Jones Jnr and Robert Guerrero as the only fighters to win a world title in their first bout after jumping up two weight classes to fight.
Malignaggi, nine years older than his opponent at age 32, fell to 32-5 and complained about the most lopsided judge's decision against him.