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Broner vs. Malignaggi brings in 1.3 million viewers on Showtime

Adrien Broner Paulie MalignaggiBy Eric Thomas: Last Saturday night’s fight between unbeaten Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KO’s) and WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO’s) brought in 1.3 million viewers on Showtime. This was only slightly less than the 1.4 million views that Broner’s previous fight against little known Gavin Rees brought in last February on HBO.

The reason why that fight brought in better numbers than the Broner-Malignaggi bout was because HBO has larger subscriber base. If you put Broner-Malignaggi fight on HBO, the numbers would likely be in the 1.5 to 1.6 million views if not more.

Broner’s last two fights are now the biggest fights on cable this year, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.

You have to give Broner a lot of the credit for drumming up support for the Malignaggi fight because he did a good job of getting attention to the fight by conducting a lot of interviews, being available to fans and interviewers, and coming into his press conferences with Malignaggi in what appeared to be a well-rehearsed act to get laughs and attract attention.

Broner appears to be following into the footsteps of his idol Floyd Mayweather Jr. with his ability to hype fight. However, Broner is like the way that Mayweather used to be when he was younger because Mayweather has mellowed significantly to the point where he doesn’t generate the same excitement that he once did.

Showtime Sports executive vice president Stephen Espinosa said this to Yahoo Sports about Broner: “He makes a lot of noise and draws a lot of attention. He rubs people the wrong way, but people react to him. It’s similar to Mayweather in that you either like him and watch to watch him, or you dislike him and want to see him lose.”

Broner will have to do more in the future than just sell fights if he wants to keep bringing in the big numbers. He’s going to eventually have to fight someone really good that can punch because the Malignaggi wasn’t a real test for Broner like he’ll be getting when he faces some of the best welterweights and light welterweights.

Malignaggi, 32, is a fighter that is finishing his career up at this point and he’s not going to be fighting much longer if at all. Broner didn’t really beat a good welterweight that could put him in danger. With Malignaggi, Broner only had worry about being able to win a decision. Against a big puncher at welterweight, Broner would need to focus on trying to avoid getting knocked out.

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