Brooklyn native Malignaggi set to defend boxing title, end Broner’s rise

Face off: Paulie Malignaggi and Adrien Broner duke it out at the Barclays Center on June 22.
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He may be an up-and-coming ringside commentator for Showtime, but World Boxing Association welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi really shines with his colorful pre-fight trash talk.

In the lead up to his June 22 welterweight championship bout with Adrien Broner, Malignaggi called his opponent “an ugly ninja turtle-looking dude.”

The 32-year-old Brooklyn native also warned the up-start Broner, 23, about stepping into a welterweight title fight right after moving up in weight class.

“I don’t think that was the most intelligent move by his team’s part,” Malignaggi said. “They are going to have egg on their face after the fight and Adrian can have a bloody face after the fight.”

For his part, Broner (26–0–0 22 KOs) called the aging Malignaggi a better commentator than a boxer at this point, and he predicted that his first welterweight fight would be his third title win in as many weight classes.

“At the end of the day,” Broner said, “he is fighting Adrien Broner and I will be the ruler of boxing in a year or two.”

Malignaggi is just excited to have a chance to fight in a main event against a big-time opponent in a major arena for his hometown crowd.

“As long as there are fights like this getting my adrenaline going and getting me excited to train then I’m going to keep fighting,” Malignaggi said. “This is the type of fight that makes me appreciate being a fighter and boxing.”

But Malignaggi admitted that the pre-fight back-and-forth with Broner — which got extremely personal, even insulting Malignaggi’s ex-girlfriend — has gotten his blood up.

“At times I’m [upset],” Malignaggi said. “At times it’s tongue and cheek, But it doesn’t really matter. We have a job to do.”

Saturday’s card at the Barclays Center also features a co-main event rematch between heavyweights Jonathan Banks and Seth Mitchell. Both bouts will be broadcast live on Showtime.

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
Updated 12:24 pm, June 19, 2013
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