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Trash talk part of show with Broner, Malignaggi

If promoters are looking for a name to bill the fight, they could call it “The Battle of the Big Mouths.”

Yes, Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi can fight. But they’re also pretty good trash-talkers, and they took it to a new crude and personal level Saturday morning at the MGM Grand, where they were promoting their June 22 WBA welterweight title fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I thought this was the easiest fight they offered me,” said Malignaggi (32-4, seven knockouts), whose belt will be at stake. “I’m getting more money to fight a 130-pounder. It’s a no-brainer.”

The 23-year-old Broner (26-0, 22 KOs) said he’s not worried about moving up two weight classes.

“My talent sells itself. I’m not worried about nothing. I’m a two-time world champion, and I’ve beaten everyone in front of me,” Broner said after a semi-funny routine in which he called Malignaggi’s ex-girlfriend on the phone amid claims Malignaggi hit her and had her talk trash about him.

The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised on Showtime. For Broner, who likes to call himself “Mr. HBO,” it means making money for the rival network. To which he said, “Showtime’s just borrowing me for a night.”

More important to Broner is shutting up Malignaggi, 32, who is from Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood and figures to have a ton of support on fight night.

“It’s probably the best place to have the fight,” Broner said. “That way, I can embarrass him in his hometown.”

Malignaggi has worked as an analyst for Showtime and was part of the coverage for Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert Guerrero title fight at the MGM Grand Garden. More important, he recently ended his self-imposed exile from Twitter, on which he can be funny, profane, thought-provoking and belligerent — all within 140 characters.

At times, Saturday’s news conference got too profane. But Malignaggi said it’s all part of selling tickets.

“I’m here for a reason,” he said. “I’ve earned my place. He’s got no character. He’s fought one bum after another, and watch what happens when he hits me and I hit him back. He’ll run like a little (expletive).”

The card also will feature a rematch between 30-year-old heavyweights Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) and Seth Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs). Banks defeated Mitchell by second-round technical knockout Nov. 17 in Atlantic City.

■ NO MORE MANNY? — Juan Manuel Marquez might be done with Manny Pacquiao.

In an interview Friday with the Los Angeles Times, Marquez said his sensational knockout over Pacquiao on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand Garden is how he wants to remember their four fights. Marquez went 1-2-1 against the Filipino.

The 39-year-old Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) is expected back in the ring Sept. 14 against WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. (30-0, 12 KOs) at the Thomas & Mack Center. Marquez preferred that fight rather than traveling to Asia to fight Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs).

“Bradley is the champion, and I want to fight the champion,” Marquez said.

Top Rank is awaiting a decision by Mayweather before it announces the Bradley-Marquez fight. Mayweather said he plans to fight Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand, and if he does, Top Rank president Todd duBoef has said Bradley-Marquez will move to another date.

■ HUNTER UPDATE — Las Vegas heavyweight and former Olympian Michael Hunter is tentatively scheduled to fight May 24 at the Del Mar fairgrounds near San Diego.

The 24-year-old Hunter (1-0, one KO) is waiting for the contract to be finalized and for an opponent to be found. He continues to work with trainer Kenny Croom and said progress is being made.

“We’re working on attacking more, being more aggressive offensively,” Hunter said. “I like it. It’s a fun way to fight, and I enjoy learning. I’m still making the transition from amateur to pro, so this is a good time to be working on things.”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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