A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Broner takes Malignaggi’s WBA welterweight title
by Francis Walker
More than 11,000 packed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, along with World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko and unddfeated five-division champion Floyd Mayweather, to watch Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) lift the WBA welterweight champion and solidify his right to claim ‘Jessica’ from Paulie ‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi (34-5, 7 KOs) last Saturday. Broner captured the title in front of Paulie’s ‘ex-sidechick’ in Malignaggi’s hometown, via split decision.
SHOWTIME Championship Boxing televised what was a hotly-contested affair between two guys fighting for the same things: a world championship victory, more television dates, and the rights to claim ‘Jessica.’ Broner is currently in a relationship with ‘Jessica,’ whom Paulie refers to her as his former ‘sidepiece.’ The two fought with passion and vigor to prove to the world that they are much more of a man for ‘Jessica’ than anyone else she’ll ever have in her life. Broner’s defense and counterpunching was the difference, compared to Malignaggi’s flurries that had little effect.
“I told him [during the fight], ‘you can’t hit me, I hit Jessica and I’m hitting you,” Broner said.
As quick as Paulie was, burying two-handed combinations to Broner’s body, the 23 year-old Cincinnati native stunned Paulie with straight-right counters. Paulie was a mobile pole for Broner’s straight-right that landed flush with supreme accuracy. It was as though Broner knew exactly where Malignaggi’s face would be after every exchange. Broner made it look as though it was easy to fight Malignaggi.
“Paulie fought exactly how I thought he was going to,” said Broner. “He was shadow boxing. My next opponent, I’m going to let you all pick. I’m good. I beat Paulie. I left with his belt.”
Overall, Malignaggi threw 843 punches to Broner’s 524. However, Broner, the more accurate and effective fighter, landed 246 punches overall, in comparison to Malignaggi’s 214. Broner landed 47% of his punches to Malignaggi’s 25%. Broner also landed 214 power punches to Maliganggi’s 94.
The judges at ringside appeared to be torn between who won and by that margin. One judge scored the bout 115-113 for Malignaggi favoring his ability to throw a lot of punches. The other two judges scored the bout for Broner 115-113 and 117-111 favoring Broner’s accuracy.
“I think I worked him,” Maliganggi said. “This was a close fight,” Malignaggi said after the fight. “The fight could have went either way. I don’t think he did enough to take the belt from the champion.”
Broner made history becoming only the third fighter in boxing history to jump up two weight classes to capture a world welterweight championship. The legendary Roberto Duran did it in 1980 against Sugar Ray Leonard to win the WBC welterweight title. Sugar Shane Mosley dazzled all of us when he swept past Oscar De La Hoya in June 2000 for the WBC welterweight championship.
In other bouts: Jonathan Banks (29-2-1, 19 KOs) failed in his attempt to repeat his dominance over Seth Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KOs). Banks, who knocked Mitchell out in two rounds last fall, dropped a dismal 12-round unanimous decision in the rematch. Although Banks had Mitchell in serious trouble in the third round, he didn’t do enough to Mitchell, who himself looked terrible. The fight was one of the absolute worst heavyweight contests in history, as neither fighter did anything significant to try to win. Banks and Mitchell, instead of throwing bombs, were throwing feints, reaching for punches wildly that missed by a mile, and were too defensive.
At least the judges credited Seth for throwing a few punches and scored the bout 117-109, 115-112, and 114-112 in his favor.
Sakio Bika(32-5-2, 21 KOs) became the WBC super middleweight champion after flooring tough and rugged Mexican, Marco Antonio Periban (20-1, 13 KOs) in round seven, en route to a majority decision. The judges scored the bout 116-112, 115-113, and 114-114 even.
“I expected the fight to go the distance,” Bika said. “He was tough, very tough. It was a great fight and I gave my heart and soul. I worked hard and I dedicated myself to this fight. I want to fight the best. I’ll fight Andre Ward. I’ll fight anyone.”
BILLY ‘THE KID’ DIB RETURNS (Full Court Press Release)
Australian boxer-puncher Billy “The Kid” Dib (35-2, 21 KOs) returns to the United States on a mission to recapture his world title belt. The former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion takes on local favorite “Machine Gun” Mike Oliver (25-3, 8 KOs), in the 10-round co-feature on the July 5thESPN Friday Night Fightsshow, airing live from the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
“50 Cent’s Birthday Bash,” the first solo venture by rapper/promoter 50 Cent’s (Curtis Jackson) SMS Promotions, is headlined on ESPN Friday Night Fights by a potentially explosive 10-round war showcasing undefeated North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (12-0, 8 KOs) against former world super middleweight title challenger Allan “Ghost Dog” Green (32-4, 22 KOs). Alvarez-Green is being presented in association with Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM).
Dib is coming off an exciting slugfest that headlined the March 1st ESPN Friday Night Fights, in which he lost a 12-round split decision (114-112, 112-114, 112-114) and his IBF belt to undefeated Russian challenger Evgeny Gradovich (18-0). IBF No. 4-rated Dib, ironically, gained more respect among American fans from his loss to Gradovich than he had in his 35 victories.
“I fought the wrong fight and paid the ultimate penalty,” Dib spoke about fighting Gradovich’s fight instead of following his game plan. “It was really hard for me to lose my IBF belt, which meant so much to me, but the great news is I know I can win it back. I have to give Gradovich credit for his performance but it’ll be a different outcome in a rematch. I will make a statement in this fight to let world featherweight champions know that Billy Dib is still here.”
Oliver, a former International Boxing Organization (IBO) and United States Boxing Association (USBA) super bantamweight champion, handed 18-0 Gary Stark, Jr. his first professional loss in 2007 by 12-round decision. The 33-year-old Oliver’s other notable victims include Adam Carrera, Al Seeger and Mauricio Pastrana.
“I know he (Oliver) was a great amateur champion who will enjoy fighting in front of his hometown fans,” Ring Magazine No. 7-rated Dib remarked. “He’s a crafty southpaw. People are going to see a rejuvenated Billy Dib, an aggressive fighter who is coming to fight Oliver. I was shown a lot of love and respect after my last fight in America and I will return that love with a devastating performance and knockout victory.”
Dib is promoted by 50 Cent, who has opened up many doors for the Australian boxer. “It has been amazing to work with 50,” Dib explained. “My manager and brother, Emaid Dib, deals with him on a regular basis. He says 50 really gets involved and is hands-on with the promoting side of boxing. He’s a great person with a great heart, who has great energy for boxing and actually loves the sport. He has built a great team around him at SMS Promotions. My twitter account (@BillyDib) went crazy when 50 sent out a couple of tweets to follow me. The social media side of things has been huge and my crossover fans have really increased. I guess that’s the power he brings that other promoters probably can’t. I want to thank all my fans for their loyalty and support.”
Undefeated lightweight prospect Mark “Too Sharp” Davis (16-0, 5 KOs), who captured gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Championships, meets Danish-import Robert “Super” Osobe (14-5-4, 6 KOs), fighting out of Las Vegas, in an eight-round bound.In a six-round bout, unbeaten Puerto Rican welterweight Javier “El Chino” Flores (9-0, 8 KOs), fighting out of Hartford, faces Rogelio De la Torre (10-3, 6 KOs), of Houston.
Also fighting on the undercard in four rounds bouts is hot prospect Arizona light welterweight Luis Olivares (4-0, 3 KOs) vs. undefeated Puerto Rican Jonathan Perez (4-0, 2 KOs), along with Cincinnati native Donte Strayhorn (1-1) vs. Hartford’s Oscar Diaz (0-1), New Haven featherweight Nate Green (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Micah Branch (1-6-1), of Cincinnati, New Haven (CT) super bantamweight Jimmy Williams vs. Saul Almeida (0-1), of Woburn (MA), and pro-debuting light middleweights David Wilson, of New Haven, vs. Woburn’s (MA) Rodrigo Almeida.
Davis, Olivares, and Strayhorn are also promoted by 50 Cent. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets are priced at $150.00, $100.00, $60.00 and $35.00 (SOLD OUT) and available to purchase at Connecticut Convention Center (860-728-2625) or by calling Mike Criscio (203-627-7472). There is a 10-percent surcharge on all sold tickets. A $150.00 ticket entitles the bearer to free admission to 50 Cent’s post-fight party at the Connecticut Convention Center. Admission to the post fight party is $30.00 per person at the door for those without a fight ticket, or $20.00 for all tickets excluding $150.00.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET with the first fight scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET.