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Broner-Malignaggi conference call gets testy

WBA welterweight world champion Paulie Malignaggi and undefeated

WBA welterweight world champion Paulie Malignaggi and undefeated Adrien Broner discuss their upcoming fight June 22 at Barclays Center in this press conference from Showtime.

How crazy have things gotten between Adrien Broner and Paul Malignaggi?

It got so crazy that Malignaggi crashed Broner’s end of a conference call on Wednesday. It got so crazy that Swanson Communication’s representatives had difficulty keeping the call under control.

The back-and-forth between the two fighters, set to square off in a welterweight bout on June 22 at the Barclays Center on SHOWTIME, hit a fevered pitch on Wednesday as Malignaggi crashed the call. The two traded profanities for several minutes, prompting Swanson’s representatives to cut Broner’s end of the call short.

Some of the bad blood between the two can be traced back to a press conference in May when Broner told a story about Malignaggi’s ex-girlfriend Jessica. Broner took out his cell phone and called her later during the conference.

As for the fight, Broner was his usual brash self during the conference call.

“He’s bringing pillows to a fight that I’m throwing bricks,” said Broner. “So you should see a lot of blood, a lot of bruising before the referee stops the fight.”

Broner also dismissed the notion that his jumping two weight classes, from lightweight to welterweight, will have a negative effect on his performance. “The weight is not a problem. I’m originally a welterweight anyway…I walk around at 147 or 150 pounds,” said Broner.

Broner expects to retain his speed and his power at the new fighting weight.

Said Broner: “What a lot of people don’t understand is you can’t really do anything for power. You’re either born with it or you’re not. It’s like Manny Pacquiao. When he was in smaller weights he was knocking guys out. When he went up to the bigger weights he was still knocking guys out. It’s just something that God blessed me with. I have power. It doesn’t really matter what weight class I’m in. I’m still going to have the same power.”

All of Broner’s bravado notwithstanding, he did throw a couple of compliments Malignaggi’s way, but after he lauded the former IBF 140-pound champ for his commentary abilities and not his boxing skills.

“I wouldn’t call him a veteran. But I know he’s a slippery fighter,” said Broner. “If you’re really not on your A game with Paulie Malignaggi, there’s a better chance he can slip away and get a victory.”

Aside from the exciting press conference, Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) is quickly establishing himself as one of the sport’s best. If he defeats Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), he would join Roberto Duran and Roy Jones Jr. as the only fighters to win a world championship in their first fight after moving up two weight classes.

The following is an excerpt from a SHOWTIME video feature on Broner. 


New York Sports