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Trainer likes Broner versus Bradley or Marquez post-Malignaggi

Fighters Network


Adrien Broner and trainer Mike Stafford (first and second from right) pose with Manny Pacquiao and hope to take a page from the Filipino icon’s book by being more aggressive vs. Paul Malignaggi on July 22.

WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner will be “much stronger, more powerful” and “much quicker,” in addition to “more vicious and more determined” against WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi when they meet on June 22 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Broner’s trainer, Mike Stafford told RingTV.com on Wednesday.

In victory over Malignaggi, Stafford would like Broner to face the winner of a scheduled Sept. 14 clash between unbeaten WBO 147-pound titleholder Tim Bradley and four-division beltholder Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Adrien, at this point, he’s more focused than ever,” said Stafford of Broner (26-0, 22 knockouts), a 23-year-old Cincinnati resident who will be after his seventh straight stoppage victory against Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), which will be televised on Showtime.

“And with him going up in weight, he’s more focused and he’s better at his conditioning and strength because he doesn’t have to worry about losing the weight now.”

In March, Bradley rose from a 12th-round knockdown for a close unanimous decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in defense of the title he won by disputed split-decision over Manny Pacquiao last June.

Marquez is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao last December.

“The fighters that we really want are already fighting each other,” said Stafford. “We want either Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez. Those are the two that we really, really wanted. We know that, ideally, we won’t be able to get Manny Pacquiao.

“That would be something. But I thought that maybe we could get Timothy, or, that there was a possibility that we could get Marquez before he retires. So those are the two what I really, really wanted, and that we envisioned. That’s who Adrien wants, too.”

Stafford realizes that his wishes for Broner are a longshot, given that Broner is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and advised by Al Haymon, who are bitter rivals to Top Rank, the promoters of Bradley, Marquez and Pacquiao.

“It’s up to Golden Boy and Al Haymon and R&R Promotions (Broner’s co-promoter) to sit down and work those things out,” said Stafford.

“So everything is out there, and if it sounds reasonable money-wise and it makes sense — I mean, the whole thing has got to make sense — and if it does, then that’s what we’ll take.”

Broner has been on a tear since winning a unanimous decision over former WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon in March of 2011.


Coming off February’s fifth-round stoppage of Gavin Rees, Broner’s run of showmanship and in-the-ring bravado has included stoppages of Jason Litzau, Vicente Martin Rodriguez, Eloy Perez, Vicente Escobedo and Antonio DeMarco.

Broner’s fight with Escobedo, a fifth-round knockout in July of 2012, was allowed to happen despite the fact that it was contested over the junior lightweight limit of 130 pounds because Broner missed weight by 3 1/2 pounds, an infraction that cost him his WBO belt at the scales.

Broner rose into the lightweight division for his next bout, November’s eighth-round stoppage that dethroned DeMarco as the WBC’s 135-pound beltholder, and defended his title against Rees.

“Adrien had no problem initially making 130, so we kept him down there and he won the title right there. He took over at 130,” said Stafford.

“Then, with the Vicente Escobedo fight, we had already said that we were going to move up to 135 because Adrien was growing. If you have a 21-year-old kid in any sport, he’s going to grow at that age. So he had a growth spurt, that’s all that it was. So we moved up to 135.”

During several obscenity-laced exchanges, both face-to-face and on the internet, Malignaggi, 32, has nevertheless been critical of Broner’s competition.

Malignaggi has not lost since falling by 11th-round knockout against Amir Khan in a failed bid to earn the WBA’s 140-pound belt in May of 2010.

Having partially blamed extreme weight loss for his setback against Khan, Malignaggi has since risen to welterweight, where he claims that he is stronger, hits harder, and is more energized.

Maliignaggi’s five-bout winning streak at 147 pounds includes a ninth-round knockout of Vyacheslav Senchenko for his current belt in April of last year.

Malignaggi reeled off three straight victories over Michael Lozada — a sixth-round stoppage win — Jose Miguel Cotto and Orlando Lora before making a trip to the Ukraine to dethrone the larger, stronger and previously unbeaten Senchenko.

Malignaggi is coming off a Showtime-televised split-decision victory over Mexico City’s Pablo Cesar Cano at Barclays Center last October.

Stafford believes that Broner will have a physical advantage when he meets Malignaggi.


“Adrien will be the bigger man. I mean, he’s bigger than most 147-pounders. I can show you a picture of him and Pacquiao standing next to each other when Adrien was making 130 pounds and 135 pounds, and he was bigger than Pacquiao even then,” said Stafford

“So he’ll be much stronger, more powerful and just that much quicker because he doesn’t have to worry about constantly going down to 130 or 135 and then holding it for two weeks. Right now, he’s right on weight, so that’s going to make the difference.”

Broner has trained recently with IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson, who was stopped in the third round of a non-title defense by THE RING’s No. 1-rated 140-pounder Lucas Matthysse on May 18.

“You’ll see a better, more vicious and more determined Adrien Broner,” said Stafford. “It just so happens that it’s going to be unleashed on Paulie.”

The Broner-Malignaggi undercard will feature heavyweight Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., in a rematch with Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs).

Banks stopped Mitchell in the second-round in November. Mitchell’s Feburary return bout with Banks was canceled after Banks suffered a broken right thumb.

Photo courtesy of Mike Stafford

Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]