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Boxing: Malignaggi faces unbeaten Broner in battle of champs

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hometown hero Paulie Malignaggi defends his World Boxing Association welterweight title against unbeaten US compatriot Adrien Broner on Saturday in a showdown of rival champions.

Broner, the reigning World Boxing Council lightweight champion and a former world super featherweight champion, steps up two weight divisions to fight Malignaggi before his loyal supporters at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

"I'm going to dominate him, punish him and make him quit on his stool," Malignaggi boasted. "We're ready. Come get it. There's not much more you can say to that. The harder he tries, the more ass whoopin' he's going to get."

"He's going to wish there's another corner he can run to," countered Broner.

Malignaggi, 32-4 with seven knockouts, makes the second defense of the title he took from previously unbeaten Ukraine fighter Vyacheslav Senchenko with a ninth-round stoppage last year in his rival's homeland.

Malignaggi, a former light welterweight world champion as well, made his first title defense last October by taking a narrow 12-round split decision in Brooklyn over Mexico's Pablo Cesar Cano.

Broner, 26-0 with 22 knockouts, took the WBC lightweight title last November with an eighth-round stoppage of Mexican southpaw Antonio DeMarco and defended it last February when Welshman Gavin Rees retired in the fifth round.

But Broner, 23, has never been past 10 rounds in a fight and has been past eight rounds only once. Malignaggi, 32, has been 12 rounds seven times, but only once in the past three years.

"He has never been through what the deal is. Deep water. He has never been 12 rounds," Malignaggi said. "He's been 10 rounds once, and he struggled. He better try real hard to get me out of there early and he better succeed because he's going to end up in deep water. I'm ready for that kind of fight.

"I'm coming to kick his ass."

Broner's knockout power, however, might explain his lack of long triumphs.

"His power is overrated," Malignaggi said. "I could have knocked out 20 garbage men or laundromat workers too, but I chose to fight real opponents in my career."

Broner sais he is prepared for whatever Malignaggi has for him, even the legs and stamina to carry the fight to lengths he has never been before.

"If you're not on you're A-game against Paulie, he can slip away from you," Broner said. "He's a guy with some tricks up his sleeve, but we're not here for a circus day. We're here to fight.

"At the end of the day, Paulie's going to fight the same. I don't care what he brings, but whatever he comes to do Saturday night, we will be equipped and ready."

And jumping two weight divisions higher will not diminish his punching power, Broner promised.

"I'm really not worrying about jumping weight classes," Broner said. "For me the weight is not a problem. I'm originally a welterweight anyway. I just had to lose weight so I really didn't have to do anything different.

"I've got power so it really don't matter what weight class I'm in. I'm still going to have the same power as I had."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130621/boxing-malignaggi-faces-unbeaten-broner-battle-champs