Cincinnati native Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KO) preserved his perfect record Saturday night, defeating Brooklyn’s own Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO) at the Barclays Center by split decision to capture the WBA welterweight title.
The bout was scored 115-113 (Broner), 113-115 (Malignaggi) and 117-111 (Broner).
Broner, 23, wasn’t as active as Malignaggi, 32, but his punches—particularly his straight right and right uppercut—landed with more authority and more frequently. Broner landed 246 of his 524 punches; Malignaggi threw 843 punches, connecting 214 times.
“He’s a world class fighter,” Broner said afterward. “To come to somebody’s hometown and beat them on a split decision, that’s saying something.”
The win makes Broner, who’d moved up two weight classes for the bout, a three-division champion. He now joins his idol, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (WBC and The Ring), Devon Alexander (IBF) and Timothy Bradley (WBO) in the pantheon of champions at 147 pounds.