22 June 2013, 23:59:00
Adrien Broner became a three-weight World Champion at just 23-years-old as he put in a skilled defensive display to temper the aggressive and high speed style of Paulie Malignaggi.
The Brooklyn fighter fired a far greater volume of punches, but wasn't able to get through the slick and elusive challenger Broner who stole away the Magic Man's WBA World Welterweight title.
The fight was punctuated by showmanship from both fighters, as they not only only taunted and trash talked each other throughout, but each took turns to interact with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at ringside midway through rounds.
Malignaggi's gameplan became clear early in the fight as he threw an unbelievable amount of leather in the first half of the fight. Clearly the hometown fighter was looking to take as many early rounds as possible, and he put in a highly impressive showing with his workrate.
Broner eluded a large percentage of Malignaggi's punches, however, sending his own shots with more cleanliness and precision and fighting very much in the style of his mentor Floyd Mayweather. Whenever Malignaggi unleashed a volley, Broner would use his high left shoulder to roll away from combat and ensure he avoided suffering any telling damage.
It was using this approach that the 23-year-old, moving up two weight classes, was able to take a secure unanimous decision, as though he threw fewer punches he got through with greater frequency and landed the weightier shots.
After 12 entertaining and high energy rounds with rarely a dip in the pace, the fight went to the scorecards which came back 115-113 to Broner, 115-113 to Malignaggi and 117-111 to Broner.
Future pound-for-pound contender Adrien Broner, the current WBC World Lightweight Champion, steps up two weight classes to challenge Paulie Malignaggi for his WBA World Welterweight Championship.
The brash and flash Broner (right), who many have likened both in style and attitude to the great Floyd Mayweather Junior, would become a three-weight World Champion with a win, and will enter the fight as the bookies' favourite despite stepping up to make the weight.
Broner is touted as a future pound-for-pound king, and a WBA World Welterweight win would open the possibility for a massive unification bout with current pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Junior.
The 23-year-old looked big at lightweight when dispatching Welshman Gavin Rees in February, and also came in over the weight at super-feather for a planned defence against Vicente Escobedo last July, so the prospect of moving up over 140lbs had been on the cards.
There are fewer more intriguing and charismatic characters in World boxing than Brooklyn brawler Paulie Malignaggi (above). The 32-year-old, himself a two-weight World Champion, will be a familiar face to UK fight fans after high profile defeats to Ricky Hatton in 2008 and Amir Khan in 2010.
The New Yorker, known as "Magic Man," has a big UK fan base, and that only grew after he travelled to Ukraine to upset the odds and wrest away the WBA World Welterweight title from local fighter Vyacheslav Senchenko LIVE on BoxNation in April 2012.
The American has since defended that belt against Pablo Cesar Cano on a marginal split decision which included a troubling visit to the canvas in the 11th round. Despite holding the belt, Malignaggi will be an underdog when he steps into the Barclays Center ring on his home patch of Brooklyn.
Broner prepares to make his anticipated Showtime debut on Saturday, June 22, live in the UK on BoxNation, as he moves up two weight classes to challenge shrewd veteran and heated rival Paulie Malignaggi.
22 June 2013, 23:59:00
Sakio Bika rolled back the years and showed great stamina to take Marco Antonio Periban's unbeaten record and secure the WBC World Super-Middleweight title with a tight unanimous decision.
It was a rugged and raw fight, dogged by wild exchanges and a lack of clean, technical work, but Cameroon-born Australian 34-year-old Bika landed the more eye-catching shots.
Periban, previously 20-0, never seemed to operate from a stable base which stole power away from his shots, while both men often found themselves unloading big haymakers that were big on intent but low on precision.
The fight grew into a war in the championship rounds, and an
exhausted Bika and Periban laid it all out on the line in a
thrilling final round where it still wasn't clear which way the
fight would go.
And so it went to the scorecards, where a narrow majority decision was returned 114-114, 116-112 and 115-113 in favour of Bika.
It's something of a crossroads fight as the 28-year-old unbeaten Marco Antonio Periban faces the 34-year-old Sakio Bika, a former IBO World Champion and Joe Calzaghe victim.
The Vacant WBC World Super-Middleweight Championship will be on the line after the council elevated former belt holder Andre Ward to "Champion emeritus" status in March; the equivalent of the WBA's "Super" World title. Super-middleweight king Ward rejected the title, and so vacated the belt altogether paving the way for one of Periban or Bika.
One thing the Cameroon-born, Australian-based Bika (right) cannot be accused of is ducking opponents. He has fought some big names at super-middleweight, including the aforementioned Calzaghe, Andre Ward and Lucian Bute en route to a 31-5-2 career record.
As for Periban, a fight against someone of Bika's quality and experience represents a new challenge. His 20 wins have come against mid-range, at best, opponents, and Bika will be a good test at the next level for the tall super-middleweight.