Paul Malignaggi has been campaigning for a rematch against Adrien Broner in the weeks following his split decision loss to the former Mr. HBO at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 22.
I asked Malignaggi for an update on the status of that campaign on Monday, during a lunch at his advisor's pizza shop in lower Manhattan, Portobello's.
"I don't think my next fight is going to be a Broner rematch," the 32-year-old said at Anthony Catanzaro's lunch hub, in between bites of pie and chomps on some Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. "I don't think he's going to do it. But we'll see where it goes. But if that l'il spoiled brat Broner to man up, and gives the public and more so me what they and I want to see..."
Malignaggi pointed out that Floyd Mayweather made it his mission to clear controversy after many folks thought Jose Luis Castillo got the better of him in their first encounter, in 2002, so he agreed to a sequel eight months later. Paulie said that's the sort of competitor Floyd is and that contrasts with Broner ( seen on right, after June 22 decision, in Hogan photo), who he said has run from three sequel situations where he could have engaged in a rematch to stave off controversy.
The luxuriating experience of eating what his heart desired didn't dim the Brooklyn-bred boxer's fire, though. "Let's call a spade a spade, Broner is severly overhyped, severly overrated, and he continues to show that every time he steps up to real, quality opposition. We can all show it against the pizza guys in the kitchen," he said, pointing to a man with a sauce-smeared apron putting pepperonis on a pie. "Floyd Mayweather dominated very good fighters, Adrien Broner dominates garbage. When he steps up against very good fighters, he has trouble winning cleanly."
He went on to say, with the weeks having passed, that he doesn't think he "exposed" Broner but rather that it was already there to be seen, but wasn't, because most of the boxing media is easily fooled. "I never thought much of the kid to begin with. Talents like him are a dime a dozen. And he's not a hard puncher, maybe because he knocked out 22 laundry workers people think so."
I brought up Broner's outside-the-ring behavior. His Twitter timeline has had people raising eyebrows of late. Just last night, he Tweeted, "I be feeling like I'm go die soon!!" and before that, "Yeah I love them strippers!!!" He's been on the Americas Most Wanted festival rap tour, topped by L'il Wayne, he says, and partying in Miami, tearing it up.
Hand it to the kid, he's got some performance chops beyond the ring, as on display in a July 13 YouTube video, titled "Adrien Broner takes a (number two) in Popeyes." The boxer, who these days seems to be having a slight identity crisis, in his desire to be a rapper, wipes his tuchus, and turns the camera on the bowl, which is full of five dollar bills. He even poops money, he declares.
(Note: This video had blown up a bit by Tuesday night, with Deadspin running a story on it, and a Twitter beef erupting when a reporter took offense to the "dirty money" act, and said that he informed authorities of the possible transgression. I have to guess the Feds have better things to do than track that money, and see if it isn't play money, so, my guess is, Broner gets himself a nice little flurry of buzz...which I think correlates with what Malignaggi says in a couple paragraphs down.)
OK, "performance chops" might not be the proper term for it, but that sort of humor does have its appeal in some circles, if not in mine...
I asked Paulie if he felt any sort of sympathy or empathy for a kid who seems to be struggling with the "good life," if you take Tweets like, "I'm bout to play Russia roulette with a fully loaded pistol maybe all my problems will go away!!!" from July 11 even partially seriously.
Because as a fellow human being, looking at someone with such potential EVEN JOKING about suicidal tendencies, I feel for Broner, even if he doesn't care that I do or want me to, or maintains he's just messing....
"I look at it like this, he's a spoiled brat who's looking for attention, and doesn't know what to do or say to get attention, the kid is not suicidal, the kid is not looking to kill himself, the kid does not have any problems," Malignaggi said. "A suicidal person doesn't behave like this (flushing money). Killing yourself people are going to talk about you. He's like a 12 year old. The problem is people enable him. He acts out like a little kid. In the end you gonna enable him or make him man up and actually do something?"
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