COMMENTARY | Two fighters needn't be coming from glorious triumphs in order to put on a tremendous contest against one another. The emphasis placed on one or two losses in boxing robs the sport of some great potential match-ups. However, when you have a match-up where one guy's prime objective is to avoid a battle and the other may not be inclined to counter that, then that could be a problem for the entertainment level of a bout.
Tuesday it was officially announced that Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs) would be taking on Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs) on December 7 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in a twelve round welterweight battle of former 140 and 147 lb. world titlists. This bout between two long-time Brooklyn buddies with losses in their last outings is also a chance for the winner to get back into the win column and maybe even position himself for yet another title shot.
"Once again we are here," Judah told the media at the press conference to announce the bout. "This is truly one fight that I never thought that we [looking at Malignaggi] would be on the other side of the coin. There is so much history here.
"I have known Paulie for a long time. I watched him grow throughout the years. I was always very proud of him because he represented the 'BK'. I always stood by his side. On Dec. 7, you are going to see a great fight. You're going to see some of the fastest hands in the world."
Judah, who has lost two of his last three contests, put on a spirited effort in a unanimous decision loss to junior welterweight champ, Danny Garcia this past April. Mostly known for his athletic gifts and main stage experience, Judah definitely has enough power to not only earn an opponent's respect, but also to immediately put an end to any fight he's in.
He's also a well-known head case at times, limited by lapses in concentration and an overall inability to "put it all together" in big fights. Against Malignaggi, there will also be the question of whether he'll go for the KO against a long-time friend or simply just do enough to take a points victory.
In Malignaggi's case, there's no wondering about whether he'll go for the KO or try to ease into a points victory-Paulie can't knock Judah out and won't be pressing the issue, despite his typical pre-fight bluster.
"This is going to be a civil war," Malignaggi said at Tuesday's press conference. "It's old school…I expect a tough fight. There's a lot on the line. I don't think anybody wants to lose in their home city to another guy from his home city. There's a lot of bragging rights on the line. I expect both of us to fight hard and to leave nothing in the ring. I expect it to be entertaining for everybody.'"
Both Malignaggi and Judah have the gift of gab, so expect plenty of media attention for this bout, but prepare for disappointment if you expect a war to break out at the Barclays Center.
Malignaggi-Judah is an interesting fight because of the possible title implications surrounding it, but war won't be in the cards. And there's nothing wrong with that. Just enjoy the bout for what it is-two competent 30-something fighters on the decline enjoying one more payday while wishing for a career rebirth.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. 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.
Sources: Golden Boy Press Release
- Sports & Recreation
- Paulie Malignaggi
- Zab Judah