Mike Stafford, the trainer for Adrien Broner (26-0, 22 KO’s), sees Broner as being a lot stronger in moving up to 147 to face WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO’s) next month on June 22nd in their fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Stafford sees this as a good move for Broner, saying to Sports Illustrated “Adrien will be much stronger. Paulie is not a full-fledged 147-pounder, anyway. It would be different if we were fighting a 147-pounder who has been at that weight for years.”
Of course, Golden Boy Promotions set up Broner with the perfect opponent in the light hitting Malignaggi. There’s no question that this is a much safer fight for the flat-footed Broner compared to if they put him in the ring with the likes of Kell Brook, Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman, Luis Carlos Abregu or Marcos Maidana.
Those guys are pretty powerful punchers and they can do a lot of the same things that Broner can do. Golden Boy put Broner in the position to win, and they obviously don’t want to mess up his future by having him in there with a guy too tough.
It’s painfully obvious that this fight is little more than a one off for Broner. He’ll be either back down to lightweight or he’ll move down one division to light welterweight so that Golden Boy can add him to the mix with their other 140 pound fighters Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.
I’ll be surprised if Broner can handle those types of fighters because they’re a lot different from the likes of Malignaggi, Gavin Rees and Antonio DeMarco. Broner will have to show a lot more talent to beat them.
Malignaggi should be a winnable fight for Broner as long as he can handle the movement that Malignaggi will be showing him. This isn’t going to be like one of Broner’s typical fights where his opponent just stands there in front of him begging to be punched in the head. Broner is going to have to actually move instead of walking around the ring the way he does.
Broner is compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr. quite a bit, but they’re honestly nothing alike. Broner just seems like a poor copy of the older version of Mayweather, and he’ll never have the skills to be like a young Mayweather.
His Mayweather-esque fighting style has worked for him up to this point against the guys he’s been fighting at lightweight, but it’s very questionable whether it’ll work against light welterweights and welterweights. Broner is going to have to be more like a younger Mayweather to beat those guys.