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Paulie Malignaggi – Adrien Broner Interview Transcript



Kelly Swanson – Thank you. We are ready to rock and roll, and this call today will be very exciting. Saturday, June 22nd Paulie Malignaggi versus Adrien Broner at Barclay Center in Brooklyn. So I’m really looking forward to this fight and this whole entire show brought to you by Golden Boy Promotions.

We’re going to have both participants on the call today. We will start with Adrien Broner and then Paulie Malignaggi will join us after Adrien is done answering your questions. But before Adrien makes any comments I’m going to turn it over to Dave Itskowitch, Chief Operating Officer of Golden Boy Promotions for the introductions. Dave?

David Itskowitch – Thank you, Kelly. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today. As Kelly said, June 22nd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn we have an amazing show lined up; Paulie Malignaggi versus Adrien Broner, a 12-round fight for the WBA Welterweight World Championship.

Also in the co-main event we have Johnathon Banks versus Seth Mitchell in the 12- round fight for the NABO and WBC International World Heavyweight Championships. And opening the Showtime broadcast will be Sakio Bika versus Marco Antonio Periban, which is a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight World Championship.

We are going to be making an announcement about our undercard fights, which are also going to be exciting. A lot of New York talent on them and an announcement on that is going to be coming shortly.

The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and R&R Promotions who is our co-promoter with Adrien Broner and Banks versus Mitchell is presented in association with K2 Promotions. The event is sponsored by Corona and AT&T and will be live on Showtime Championship Boxing beginning at 9:00 Eastern and 6:00 Pacific so it will be live coast-to-coast. There will be preliminary fights airing on Showtime Extreme beginning at 7:00 pm ET/PT. The event can be heard in Spanish using second audio programming, and we have tickets still available. We urge everybody to get out there, get your tickets now. They’re going very quickly starting at just $25 going all the way to $250 for a ringside seat but that’s actually a very reasonable price for a ringside seat considering the show that you’re going to get.

Part of that show is a young man who is the current WBC Lightweight and a two division world champion. He is unbeaten, charismatic and incredibly talented at just 22 years old. He’s getting better and better with each fight. He won his first world championship at 130 pounds knocking out Vicente Martin Rodriguez in three rounds in November of 2011 to win the WBO title. He defended that title with a fourth round knockout victory over an undefeated Eloy Perez. Then faced Vicente Escobedo in July of 2012, and then he closed out 2012 by capturing the WBC Lightweight World title with an extremely impressive and thoroughly dominant performance in knocking out Antonio DeMarco who we then regarded as the top lightweight in the world.

Most recently he knocked out Gavin Reece in five rounds to defend his title for a second time back in February, and on June 22nd he’s going to make the jump from 135 to 140 pounds to challenge Malignaggi in his Showtime debut in an effort to become a three-time world champion in three weight classes. And if he gets it done he will join Roberto Duran, Roy Jones, Jr. and Robert Guerrero as the only fighters to win a world championship in their first fight after jumping over a weight class so pretty impressive company if he’s able to get it done.

He has a record of 25-0 with 22 KOs from Cincinnati, Ohio, Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner. Adrien?

Adrien Broner

I would like to say that it’s going to be a hell of a show. Basically, I’m just going to go in the ring and do what I do best, and that’s get the victory in each-anything I’ve got to do to get the victory. I’m really not worrying about jumping weight classes. You know I know that I’m going to do a lot of great things in a sport and I’m going to do them differently. So with that being said, you will see something explosive. You’ll probably see another knockout; nine times out of ten check on my record. He’s bringing pillows to a fight that I’m throwing bricks so you should see a lot of blood, a lot of bruising before the referee stops the fight.

Q

I know you said, Adrien, in your opening remarks you weren’t worried about the jump in weight, and I believe that you’re not worried about it. But I’d like you to describe sort of what you might have had to do different or how you feel at it or what you think might be different about the way you box at a new weight, two weight divisions? As Dave mentioned in the opening remarks, it is a little unusual for a fighter to go up two weight classes these days and right in to a world title fight. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Adrien

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.

Q

So just the only thing different I guess is you’ll weigh ten pounds more roughly?

Adrien

Negative that’s my regular weight.

Q

No I mean but it’s hasn’t been your fighting weight for most of your career.

Adrien

Oh I mean I don’t walk around at 130 pounds. I don’t walk around at 135 pounds. I walk around at 147, 150 pounds so I’m at my regular weight.

Q

Okay. So then at 130 and at 135 obviously you have shown very good knockout power. Most of your opponents have been stopped. Paulie for one in his career has shown very good durability whether it was at 140 against a prime Cotto taking those heavy shots he took or as a welterweight he-Paulie, to his credit, has got a good chin I think. Do you think that you’re going to take that 30/35 power that you’ve shown all of us and it’s going to be with you when you get in the ring against Malignaggi?

Adrien

What a lot of people don’t understand is you can’t really do nothing for power; you’re either born with it or you aren’t. It’s like Pacquiáo when he was in smaller weights he was knocking guys out. When he went up in to the bigger weights he was still knocking guys out. It’s just something that God blessed me with. 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 at any weight class I’m in.

Q

Okay. I want to ask you one other thing about it. Much is being made about this jump up two weight classes. There are not a lot of guys for you to fight at 135 that were willing or that had good names. You know 140 was pretty loaded but a lot of those top fighters were busy fighting the other guys. I know you’ve been asked about this but I don’t remember what you were saying about it. Do you think that whatever happens in the fight with Paulie that you would maybe move down to 140 at some point and try to mix it up with those guys or just wait for them to come to you in your new weight class because many of those guys probably will move up eventually anyway? How do you sort of look at that landscape?

Adrien

I’ll fight anybody who’s willing to fight Adrien Broner.

Q

Okay. I mean are you familiar-I know you’re familiar with the top guys at 140. I mean most of them are promoted by Golden Boy.

Adrien

I’m not worrying about any names. I’m not worrying about who did what in whose fight. I’m not worrying about hard someone expected to hit. I will fight anybody who is willing to fight Adrien Broner.

Q

What do you think of Paulie Malignaggi, honestly, as a fighter because you’ve given him plenty of stick in the buildup and at the press conference in Las Vegas? What do you think his strengths are in the ring?

Adrien

He’s a very good talker. I mean he’s got some great talent. I mean he’s a hell of a commentator. Other than that I really, I don’t know. He’s the world champion.

Q

Yeah. You know he can’t be a bad fighter to have got as far as he’s done and had the wins that he’s had so it is ….

Adrien

I mean you know if I was to look at the career and his-I would say he was born to be a commentator. He looks good. He’s got the looks. He can talk. I mean in boxing if it isn’t Adrien Broner or Floyd Mayweather then I don’t really see anybody. He wouldn’t be a world champion if he wasn’t somebody, but at the end of the day he’s fighting Adrien Broner and I will be the ruler of boxing in about a year or two.

Q

You say you’re going to become the ruler of boxing in a year or two; how will you have to beat to become the ruler?

Adrien

It’s not about who do I have to beat it’s how I do my job. It don’t matter who I beat as long as I keep winning in the fashion that I do it, as long as I keep putting on shows, as long as my ratings keep going up I will be the ruler of boxing.

Q

Adrien, Malignaggi is a crafty veteran; is there any particular area of his game that you have studied in preparation for this fight?

Adrien

I really don’t study tapes. I let my coach do that. I know that as long as I’m in shape there is nothing I wouldn’t be able to adjust to so I’m always ready. Whatever he brings to the table I’ll be ready, make my adjustments and I’ll do what I’ve got to do to get the victory. I wouldn’t call him a veteran but I know he’s a slipper fighter and if you’re really not on you’re a game with Paulie Malignaggi there’s a better chance that he can slip away and get a victory. So I’m going to be on my A game. I’m going to bring everything I have, and you’ll see what I do on June 22nd.

Q

Okay. And there have been talks circulating about a potential fight with Marcos Maidana should you get past Malignaggi. After seeing Maidana’s performance last week against Lopez does he deserve a shot at the ‘Can Man’?

Adrien

I didn’t see it, but I heard he did get a victory. I didn’t see it but Maidana is Maidana. Everybody knows Maidana bring to the table, but we’re worrying about Paulie Malignaggi right now. If the best fight for Adrien Broner after this fight is Maidana then Maidana will get it.

Q

But I wanted to kind of focus a bit on the trash talking, which has kind of gone off the scale in the kind of build up to this fight. Will the fight live up to the hype or is there a chance it could be remembered for the kind of back and forth that you’ve had with Malignaggi?

Adrien

Of course, I’m Adrien Broner. I always say something and do more than what I said.

Q

Who is in whose head? Who is getting to who most? Is anything he’s saying affecting you?

Adrien

No. No. No way. Nothing is personal. Nothing is personal. At the end of the day we still got to fight June 22nd. He could bring his siblings in the ring with him it’s not going to help him. What I have to say is you know he needs to like stop all the cussing and all the other stuff he’s doing because at the end of the day he really has a nine to five, and I really want him to keep his job on Showtime because after June 22nd like boxing is really not going to be his biggest job he has. Like the commentary job is going to be the biggest job for him after June 22nd so he’s a role model. Really he’s a good commentator and people like seeing him on Showtime talking so getting on the phone with me and talking crazy like that if Showtime heard that that do him no good.

Kelly

Okay. So now I want you to do a closing comment about the fight itself and how training camps are going, and then we’re going to turn it over to Paulie, and you can go back to the gym.

Adrien

Okay. Basically, I’m going to do me regardless. I’m going to come in dancing. I’m going to leave out dancing, and I’m going to be victorious. I will be 23-year-old three time champion in three weight classes. I will make history on June 22nd. I heard there’s only two guys that have already done it and I will be the third. It’s going to be a hell of a fight however long it lasts. And I’m going to get this money and my checks are bigger than his, and at the end of the day he better keep practicing his lines. And hopefully the referee don’t stop the fight before it get too bad and he miss out on some jobs because after the fight if the ref let it go on too long he probably will miss out on a fight, and then he will have to be at work with glasses on and I don’t know how good that be to his career.

Kelly

Okay. Bye. See you soon. Okay. Now, we’re going to turn this call over to Paulie.

David

He’s the current WBA Welterweight and two division world champion. He has the never say, “Die” attitude and style that epitomizes the fighting spirit of all fighters from Brooklyn and all Brooklynites. He first made his mark in the 140 pound weight class when he defeated Lovemore N’dou for the IBF crown. Early last year he won a 9th round technical knockout victory over Vyacheslav Senchenko that earned him the WBA Welterweight World Title in Senchenko’s native Ukrain; has defended the belt once thus far winning a decision over Pablo César Cano at Barclays Center last October at the arena’s inaugural boxing event.

He’s also well-known and well-praised for his work as a color commentator on Showtime Championship Boxing, and on June 22nd the 32-year-old will look to stop the rise of Adrien Broner just a few miles from his home in Brooklyn. He has a record of 32-4 with 7 KOs from Brooklyn, New York Paulie ‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi.

Q

Hey, you know when Adrien was doing his call and before you-when you jumped on to the call the say that Adrien seems to come across anyway is that he doesn’t really seem to take you too seriously. I kind of take it like when he’s doing his … sort of like with a little bit of a wink of the eye. You seem to take it a lot more serious, a lot more personal. Has he gotten under your skin a little bit? It seems like it.

Paulie

It doesn’t really matter if he got under my skin. I mean I’ve been fighting for 12 years. We can get under each other’s skin or not it doesn’t matter. When the bell rings I’m focused and I’m ready and I’ve already been there already. So if I was the guy who just started this shit then okay you could say, “Hey, he’s getting under his skin. It doesn’t really matter. It’s a irrelevant question. Yeah at times I’m pissed. At times it’s tongue and cheek. I guess it depends on the moment, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ve got a job to do on Saturday night and that’s what counts.

Q

Okay. So all those antics even if you do get annoyed and irritated by it you’re saying that when the bell rings it’s not going to take you out of your game.

Paulie

No. No talking has ever gotten me out of my game. The things that have gotten me out of my game in the past has definitely not been talking.

Q

Okay. And so when he says those things how much does it upset you or are you also giving a little schtick too?

Paulie

Some of it is schtick and some of it is yeah I’m irritated. I’m irritated for a couple of things. I’ll get in to it long after the fight, but some things are stick obviously. Some things are banter and going back and forth and some things are not so we’ll see how it goes.

Q

Okay. Now, listen you started your career when you won your first world title. I think you started at 135 but you really made your name at 140. Now you’ve been a welterweight now for a couple years and obviously have done very well. You have made the jump in weight that he’s about to make. Can you talk a little bit about what that was like for you and how you think as an observer that he will handle that change?

Paulie

It’s not really comparable comparison. I made that transition over the course of my entire career so I kind of go out of the weight class and I didn’t just jump weight classes. I had no choice but to move up in weight classes when I moved up. He made a choice to move up so it’s a question that you can’t really compare the two weight jumps.

Q

Then how do you think though that we can go in-like you said, you went up the two weight classes over a long period of time. He’s taken a jump up two weight classes in the span of just from one fight at 135 to the next fight at-or from 135 to 147 in his next fight. Can you give me your opinion about what you think that will be like for him? I know you’ve watched him fight before.

Paulie

Yeah. He’s a little guy. He’s a little guy and he’s going to see how overrated his power was. I think they were better off letting him fight a live guy, a lightweight or someone below that before him fighting live guy welterweight. He’s fighting this this bigger guy all in one jump so I don’t think that was the most intelligent move on his team part. It doesn’t really matter to me.

Q

So do you think that even though people don’t associate Paulie Malignaggi with big punching power- but you’ve stopped a couple guys at welterweight-do you think that because maybe like you say the smaller guy that you’ll maybe be able to surprise a lot of people not necessarily by winning but by stopping him in a victory?

Paulie

If you look at my opponents they all get their ass beat don’t they? I mean do they all not wind up looking like their face went through a window at the end of the fight, especially recently? I don’t see why Adrien Broner’s face is going to look different at the end of the fight. He will wind up looking like they put his face in a blender when I’m done with him. Whatever it is. It depends on him. It depends how bad he wants to win. I’m not going to tell you that I’m going to sit here and knock him out in one punch, but he’s going to feel a lot of punishment on next Saturday night. We’ll see how bad he really wants it. He talks like he wants it so bad. We’ll you’re going to go through a lot of pain in a situation where he’s not even going to win so in the end he may just tell himself it’s not worth it and he’ll just quit.

Q

You’ve had a handful of Showtime broadcasting assignments over the past several weeks, and when you go from site to site whether you’re training and then you go and do your broadcast. Has juggling both things the last few weeks done anything as a determent to your training regimen or have you been able to deal with both and stay on key for both jobs?

Paulie

No. Every show we went to Adrien was at the same show with the exception of the Maidana-Lopez show, but the show wasn’t really a hassle because it was minutes from my training anyway so it wasn’t really an issue.

Q

Hey, Paulie. First question is do you think that your legs are going to win this fight for you? I mean your movement is that one of the biggest assets that you’ll use to win?

Paulie

You’ve got to watch the fight and find out bro. There’s a lot of things you can’t really pinpoint one single way to beat him because it’s really up in the air. He’s fought such bums who … boxing ring let alone boxing for world titles that you can’t even really make a comparison to what is going to beat him or not because it really could be anything. There’s not really one thing that you can say will or won’t work. The guys he’s been fighting have nothing at all so just the fact that you bring something, anything to the table already gives you more of a chance than anybody else he’s fought.

Q

I hear you champ. I hear you. Now have you been training away from New York or have you been in New York?

Paulie

Yeah. Yeah I just got back to New York this past weekend. I was on the West Coast.

Q

And is this better focus?

Paulie

Yeah better focus, better sparing. It’s just where I was training. I actually had a place in L.A. for a couple of years. I just got rid of it but it’s where I prefer to have training camps.

Q

Okay. And lasts question, do you feel any at all any added pressure fighting in Brooklyn?

Paulie

No. No. It’s all good. It’s all good, man. It really doesn’t matter. The ring is square no matter where we fight so it’s all good for me.

Q

When you win this fight then will it give you more satisfaction than any other victory?

Paulie

Every fight has its own satisfaction. The fight at the moment is the one that’s always most satisfying until you get to the next one so yeah because this is the next one. And in the long line of fights that I’ve had in my career yeah obviously this is a very satisfying victory but I’ll tell you winning another one after this will become more satisfying. You always focus on the task at hand and knowing that’s the biggest satisfaction is to win the fight in front of you.

Steve

And do you think-you know a lot’s been said between you both in the buildup. Do you think you could get on with him sensibly after the fight?

Paulie

It doesn’t really matter. I don’t really care. I don’t box to make friends. I box to make money.

Q

And also you’re making a great career with Showtime. Does that have any influence now on when you might walk away from boxing and go with broadcasting full time?

Paulie

Soon. I don’t expect to fight much longer, but as long as the fights like this get my adrenaline flowing and get my juices going and get me excited to fight then I’m going to say I’m going to keep fighting. They’re the kind of fight that makes me appreciate being a fighter and being a boxer. As long as these fights are around then obviously I’m not going to walk away from it, but once it start becoming harder, you’ve got these kind of fights being harder, these kind of fights my body tells me something different then I’ll walk away. But I don’t expect to stay around much longer.

Q

Do you think 2013 could be your final year in boxing then?

Paulie

Maybe, maybe not. I take every year one year at a time. I don’t like to look too far ahead.

Q

Hi, before I ask Paulie a question I just want to make a comment about Dave Itskowitch who is leaving Golden Boy. Dave, you were the consummate professional the whole time and I hope you stay in boxing. It’s been a real pleasure dealing with you over the years.

David

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Q

Paulie, what do you expect the crowd reaction to be? You are the local fighter. Do you expect the crowd to be heavily behind you, split, or against you? What are you anticipating?

Paulie

I don’t know. I expect I’m going to see some support for me. I also know how there are a lot tickets scalper and they take all the floor seats so I have my share of floor seats, but I don’t know. I don’t know how those tickets go to and I don’t know who they’re being sold to. I mean it doesn’t matter, bro. We can fight in my living room or we can fight in his living room but it doesn’t matter. The ring is square and we’ve got to deal with it in there so that’s what I’m focused on.

Q

Do you think it’s a sign of disrespect that Broner is moving up two weight divisions to box you instead of stopping off at 140 to look at one of the champions there?

Paulie

No. It’s an ambitious move. I don’t look at it as disrespectful in that way. I think he’s just a fighter looking to make an ambitious move and trying to build a legacy so to speak so that part is not really what ticked me off.

Q

I’m curious, this is an interesting fight just in terms of you’re with Golden Boy, you’re also a Showtime commentator, kind of the future, and you’re a champion that’s still viable in my opinion. I was just curious did you have a choice in taking this fight just because there seems to be too many kind of conflicts of interest, moving parts?

Paulie

No. I mean it was a fight that was offered to me. I actually liked it when it was offered to me. I thought it was actually too good to be true, and so there were other fights I was given as options but I felt like this was the one that paid the most first of all, which obviously is always the main key.

Q

At this stage too a lot of fighters start to say that they need motivation. They look for little things to light a fire; he certainly lite a fire for you. How important has that been in your preparation? Having that kind of passion to feed off of is it a good or a bad thing?

Paulie

I think you always want to have big fights, the big moment in your career. It’s always something that you strive to achieve. You always strive to get to fights like this. That’s what we live for you know as fighters. When you’re a kid and you’re in the gym and you’re working so hard you dream of moments like this, the big crowd, the main event in the big arena, the big fight night. You dream of that moment so it’s a motivating factor to be a part of something like this, and that is really what drives me to train hard and still do this.

Q

Can you explain the testing situation? You said as of May 13th you have not been tested though you both had agreed to it. Has that changed?

Paulie

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been tested a few times myself. I don’t keep track of Broner, but I’ve been quite a few times yeah since then.

Q

Also just last thing how important do you think is pace in this fight? He fights at a leisurely pace. I tend to think a mid-tempo, kind of mid-to-long range boxing match favors you if you can keep it that way. What do you think about pace in this fight? Do you have to tire him out? What is the thing that you have to do to him to beat him?

Paulie

I don’t know. We’re just training to get sharp. We’re not really training for him because the things that have worked against the ones he fought it’s hard to really say they’ll work against me or the things that he’s done against the ones that he fought. It’s hard to say he’ll try those same things because really when you fight a bum really anything will work. When you’re fighting a world class fighter you’re going to have to actually come with a game plan. It’s hard to say. That’s why we didn’t really prepare for him. We just prepared and prepared with some good sparring partners and just be the best we can be because the game plan he may have for me may be altogether different than what he’s been fighting, the one he’s been using and whatnot.

Like I said, when you fight the corner store dairy clerk every time you’re out there fighting if you don’t have a new game plan you’re not going to do it. So now he’s fighting somebody real so it wouldn’t surprise me if he comes with a new bag of tricks, I guess some new looks so that’s why I didn’t really train for anything I saw on video or anything like that. I stopped watching video regularly in camp for that reason.

Q

And that’s since you’ll be providing him the first professional resistance he’s ever faced?

Paulie

Yeah.

Q

There you go. Thank you very much, man. Good luck to you in the fight.

Q

You kind of talk a lot about how this fight kind of got the competitive juices going and really interested you. What specifically about this fight made this one stand out for you?

Paulie

It’s the main event. I’m the world champion in the city where my family moved to. I came here and my family came here. When I got in the country I didn’t speak English so it’s the city where my life changed kind of. Right now I get to be on the big stage in the same city as world champion in the main event in a big arena. It’s the kind of things that you say people dream about but really I could have never dreamt it before so these kind of fights are what stand out, not necessarily opponent. It could have been any opponent. I just wanted a big opponent and a name opponent that makes the fight this much bigger.

Q

Just when you’re fighting kind of a younger fighter, kind of proving yourself against someone who is supposedly younger and some people think are better, just how you’re just kind of proving yourself that you’re still this top-notch fighter.

Paulie

Yeah. There’s satisfaction in every big fight. The young versus the old match-ups they’re a part of boxing in general so it’s not the first time and it’s not going to be the last time this kind of fight happens. So you know that kind of thing is not really the big motivating factor, just one of many things that are involved in a fight that make it exciting.

Kelly

Okay. Paulie, if you could just make one quick comment and then we will let you go, and we will see you next week. Thanks for everything.

Paulie

I don’t have any final comment. All my comments have been said already. I’ll see you guys next week. Thank you.

Kelly

Thanks, Paulie. Okay. Thanks, everybody, for joining us. See you next week, fight week. Thanks. Bye.

END OF CALL

Malignaggi vs. Broner, a 12-round fight for Malignaggi’s WBA Welterweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and R & R Promotions, supported by Golden Boy Promotions’ sponsors Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. In the co-featured bouts, Johnathon Banks will look to repeat his 2012 upset win over Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell as he defends his NABO and WBC International Heavyweight titles in a 12-round fight presented in association with K2 Promotions and number one rated WBC super middleweight contender Sakio Bika faces number four rated WBC super middleweight contender Marco Antonio Periban in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Super Middle weight World Championship. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® is available in Spanish on secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Tickets priced at $250, $125, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, are on sale now at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 800-745-3000 and at the American Express Box Office. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.