Al Bernstein: Broner no threat to Mayweather, Malignaggi has a slight edge

Phil Jay 25/03/2013

Legendary Showtime boxing analyst Al Bernstein has given WBN his valued opinion on a future clash between WBA champion Paulie Malignaggi and current nemesis Adrien Broner, which has been touted for June 22 in New York.

The two have been involved in a slanging match in recent weeks as rumours that the fight will be signed soon continue to intensify as Malignaggi, 32, gears up to make the second defence of his 147lb title in the summer.

23 year-old Broner has been lauded as the second coming of pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather after dominating through the super-featherweight and lightweight divisions early on in his career, just as ‘Money’ did, although Bernstien is cautious as ‘The Problem’ attempts to skip 140lbs.

“Broner’s move to 147 to face Paulie Malignaggi is a curious one,” Bernstein told World Boxing News.

“He has already gone up in weight to get to 135 (from 130) and this move would, at least temporarily, skip the talent-rich 140 pound division. It’s obvious that his team feel they can challenge Paulie for a 147lb title because he is not a big puncher at the weight.

“However, Broner is almost untested against good fighters. His win over Ponce De Leon was razor thin and he could have lost, and De Leon was moving up in weight.

“Paulie is a skilled fighter who will give Broner looks he has not seen before. I think the Broner-Malignaggi fight is a 50-50 affair – with a slight edge to Paulie.”

The current WBC lightweight belt holder, Broner is risking a lot attempting a welterweight contest after just two fights at 135lbs and Bernstein has questioned whether the Cincinatti fighter is as good as the hype surrounding him suggests.

“I don’t see Broner as a future threat to Floyd,” he stated. “For one thing, I am not sure he can be effective at 147 or 154. I also have serious doubts that he can beat the really good fighters at 140 pounds.

“Broner has hand speed, and power (at least at the lower weights), but still has defensive liabilities, and he is virtually untested at this point. He may be a great fighter in waiting, or not,” added Bernstein.

Richard Schaefer has given nothing away as to whether the fight is to be formally announced imminently, although in a recent interview with WBN, Malignaggi expressed his interest in sharing a ring with the outspoken Broner. It may now just be the negotiations phase that has to be manoeuvred until boxing can look forward to what looks on paper to be an intriguing fight.