COMMENTARY | A recent Boxingscene.com interview conducted by Luis Sandoval showed a side of the supposedly affable Paulie Malignaggi that many fans had never seen before. It wasn't a pretty picture, at least when it had to do with his statements regarding the fans of the sport.
While most of the interview revolved around boxing business and his opinion about various issues related to his career, the subject eventually turned to his take on the critics of his championship reign. The WBA welterweight titlist insisted that he couldn't care less about what anyone says. Actually, he would go into cringe-worthy detail about not caring.
"I'll pull out my (expletive) and they can all suck it," Malignaggi said. "I go to the bank, I got a lot of money. I own multiple houses, multiple cars. I own enough jewelry that I can buy people's houses off them just off my jewelry. I'm good. And I'm not trying to brag about my money, even though I just did. I live a good life and, personally, it doesn't matter what anybody's saying...So when Monday morning comes and Tuesday morning comes, and everybody got to get the (expletive) up and go to work, and they can't stand getting up, I don't gotta do that. I train a few months a year and then I enjoy my money. I hang out and I go on vacation and I have a good time and I show up to fights and people love me. It's a good life being Paulie Malignaggi."
The rant smacks of hypocrisy as Malignaggi is usually front and center to decry the evils of the sport when he winds up on the pointy end of a screw job. He appears to not be quite as gung-ho about reform when he's the one benefiting from questionable dealings.
When Juan Diaz was given a controversial decision over Malignaggi back in 2009, the former junior welterweight titlist moved fans with his post-fight laments and sad-eyed criticism of the sport's power structure. However, those same fans who agreed about the putrid judges' call that night would also be the ones pointing out the unfairness of Malignaggi, as an unqualified welterweight challenger and newcomer to the division, moving almost straight to a world title shot for no apparent reason other than the weight of him signing with a specific promoter.
As a matter of fact, Malignaggi's entire WBA title run is a testament to the way boxing shouldn't be run. It is a cynical reign over a valueless belt given weight and worth solely because of the promotional power invested into it.
Later in the interview, when asked about his fairly new gig as color commentator for Showtime's boxing coverage, Malignaggi once again couldn't keep himself from taking a shot at the fans.
"Maybe I can teach some of the idiots at home about boxing," Malignaggi chuckled. "There seem to be a lot of know-it-alls, but they don't know what the (expletive) they're watching....Most people don't know (expletive). You watch a fight every week and you don't know (expletive) about boxing, that's 99% of, even, boxing fans, let alone people who don't watch boxing. ...I feel like I've been put out there for a purpose-- To educate these (expletive) idiots out there and tell them what's going on when they watch a fight."
Some fans may write this stuff off as gym talk or just general athlete bluster. Hell, in this day and age, Malignaggi may even become more popular because of these jabs. Most fans, to be honest, probably consider themselves to be part of the 1% who aren't "(expletive) idiots."
However, even Floyd Mayweather, in his darkest "Money" moments, never let loose with such a dismissive, insulting diatribe against the same people who make his lavish lifestyle possible. It's bad form. It's ignorant. It's a slap in the face of everyone who has ever paid to see him fight or supported him from the viewer end of the TV camera.
The worst part of all of this is the hypocrisy. People like Malignaggi appeal to the fans when they want a wrong righted or when they need to promote an upcoming fight. Then, it's all love and respect.
If Paulie has such utter disdain for the fans, their intelligence, and the blue collar lifestyle they lead, he should keep that to himself or get together in private with other like-minded athletes and entertainers to have a good laugh at the expense of the slobs who make their fame and wealth possible.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.Source:
Luis Sandoval, Malignaggi Unleashed: Jabs Broner, Thurman, and HBO, Boxingscene