Brooklyn-bred Paulie Malignaggi promised during the buildup to his Saturday night clash with Adrien Broner, a faceoff between pound-for-pound top-10 trash-talkers, that he would take Broner into deep waters and test him.
That he did. But the WBA welterweight champ has to be content with a moral victory, because the judges at Barclays Center gave Broner a split-decision win.
Malignaggi boxed super smart and out-threw the Cincy boxer 843 to 524. But Broner had a power edge, 418-376, and Broner's right hand and left hook, which snapped Malignaggi's head back and sprayed his sweat into the lights, delighted two of the three judges.
Judge Tom Miller saw it for the Brooklyner 115-113, while judge Glenn Feldman saw it 115-113 for Broner and judge Tom Schreck saw it 117-111 for Broner.
Broner said after that Malignaggi ran, but that wasn't my perception. The first part of the night, Paulie moved a bunch, but later he stayed in tight and did work in close. He worked to the body, to the chest, and his defense I think was tougher for Broner than he had envisioned.
Paulie ranted that he thinks this was the usual political B.S. that infects boxing and that Broner got the nod because he is with influential adviser Al Haymon.
There were 11,461 fans in attendance.
Promoter Richard Schaefer said after that he'd consider putting Broner in with Marcos Maidana. How about a rematch? Schaefer indicated maybe at least an interim fight for each first.
"If Paulie had some power, it could have been a difficult fight for Adrien," he said.