By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Paulie Malignaggi: “I expect the best Zab Judah”
Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs) and Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs) are very fond and appreciative of one another. But this Saturday, their friendship and admiration for one another will be put on hold, as the two have been forced to fight one another in a all-Brooklyn Brawl from the Barclays Center. Malignaggi vs. Judah will headline a SHOWTIME Championship Boxing fight card that is expected to draw a raucous, all-New York crowd.
“I expect the best Zab Judah,” Maliganaggi said. “[I expect] a Zab Judah who is going to be fighting for his boxing career. I feel the same way.
Making no mistake, although Malignaggi and Judah are friends, once the two step foot inside of a boxing ring, there won’t be any love lost.
“If we saw each other in the gym, we would try to knock each other out,” Malignaggi said. “There’s no love taps. With this much on the line you can bet we’re both going to have it out on Saturday.”
Maliganggi and Judah have both lost a number of big fights. In fact, Maliganggi and Judah are each coming off a loss in their respective fights at the Barclays Center. Judah lost a close, but unanimous decision against unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in April, while Malignaggi lost his WBA welterweight title to Adrien Broner in June on a disputed split-decision.
The fact that Judah and Malignaggi can headline a tremendous fight card that will be televised live on national TV from New York City is an attribute to the longevity of both fighters.
“You have to be stubborn to have longevity,” Maliganaggi said. “One or two losses can quickly demote you to a second level fighter, but you have to have the stubbornness to keep going.”
Maliganggi is well-seasoned and fully understands what it means to be resilient. Malignaggi was an undefeated world title contender in when Miguel Cotto broke his orbital bone and fractured his jaw during a 12-round war at Madison Square Garden. Maliganaggi came back to win the IBF 140-pound title the following year.
After being toppled by Ricky Hatton in November 2008, splitting a pair of fghts against Juan Diaz in 2009, and was stopped by Amir Khan in 2011, Maliganaggi was considered a finished fighter. He ended his career-long run with DiBella Entertainment and was awarded little confidence from Golden Boy Promotions.
Maliganaggi, when no one was paying any attention, traveled to Ukraine to box circles around Vyacheslav Senchenko to win the WBA welterweight title in April 2012. Malignaggi is angry that he lost the fight to Broner and felt his losing the word title was part of a political ploy for boxing to push Broner as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. one day.
“I want that Broner vs. Maidana winner, Maliganaggi said. [But] I have to get through Saturday night. A win over Zab Judah is what I want for Christmas.”
A world title isn’t on the line when Malignaggi fights Judah, but this fight is such a big fight. The loser of this fight will have to wait a long time and do something significant to earn another world title opportunity.
“It’s exciting every time you’re part of a big promotion,” Maliganaggi said. “It’s not a world championship fight, but it still has that feel and that vibe. On Saturday night it will feel like it’s a championship fight in Barclays Center.”
A lot of doors may open for Paulie should be beat Judah on Saturday. A loss, as Maliganaggi has experienced in the past, will cost him dearly.
Maliganaggi added: “We’re both motivated to win, but when you’re at this level anything can get you motivated for a fight like this. If you’re not motivated for this, you better check your pulse to make sure you’re alive.”
Alexander defends IBF welterweight title
Devon Alexander was once touted as one of boxing’s best kept secrets on the horizon. As a two-division world champion, Alexander is an accomplished fighter. His stunning knockout of iron-chinned Juan Urango to unify the WBC/IBF junior welterweight titles is perhaps the biggest and most impressive career win. When he destroyed Junior Witter in 2009, Alexander had arrived.
But those fights were more than three, four years ago. In recent fights, Alexander hasn’t looked like the fighter that KO’d Urango and stopped Alexander. Instead, he has struggled, as his performances have progressively gotten worse and worse. He looked terrible against Lucas Matthysse, Timothy Bradley bullied him around the ring for ten rounds, and the fight with Randall Bailey was extremely awful.
Alexander looked great against Marcos Rene Maidana and soft-touch named Lee Purdy, but the St. Louis native has become a forgotten commodity.
Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) will have a chance this Saturday to remind everyone that he is still one of the most talented boxers in the world by successfully defending his title against Shawn Porter (22-0, 14 KOs).
“You can expect me to win and be explosive,” Alexander said. “I’m going to be smart and get the win. I know Shawn is hungry. I was in that position and this time, I’m putting myself in Porter’s shoes. “I know what it’s like to get excited for a world title match. His skills are limited and I’m going to come to fight.”
Alexander has been winning and has defeated good fighters, but he hasn’t looked good. Knockdowns, missing punches, lack of explosiveness, and getting hit – Alexander missed out on key fights with both Amir Khan and Kell Brook. Neither fighter was excited about fighting Alexander, even though he is a world champion.
“After this fight we can expect bigger and better things,” Alexander said. “I’ll be a major player at 147. Whoever steps up to the plate next I’ll fight them too. Whichever fight is available after this, that’s the one I’m taking.”
Shawn Porter is the younger, newer face onto the boxing scene. At age 26, the Akron, Ohio native would love to introduce himself to the world by talking the IBF welterweight title away from Alexander in style. This is the biggest fight of his career and Porter appears to be one of those fighters where if he doesn’t win, it will be the only big fight he’ll ever have.
“There’s a lot of excitement period,” Porter said. “This is the biggest fight of my career. The week is here. We worked extremely hard this camp working on the mental and physical aspects of this fight.”
Porter added: “We pushed hard to beat the champ,” Porter said. “We worked my heart out. We did 18 rounds in the gym. We’re going to mix it up. I’ve seen a few of his [Alexander's] fights. He’s going to scrap. He’s been booed but he won’t be booed on Saturday night. He’ll come ready.”
Porter has defeated some very good fighters along the way up and will be fighting his first 12-round encounter with Alexander. The question is whether Porter has enough skills to fight Alexander for twelve rounds? That remains to be seen.
Also on the card Erislandy Lara (18-1, 12 KOs) and Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) will meet for the vacant WBA junior middleweight title. Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 KOs) defends the WBC super middleweight crown against Anthony Dirrell (26-0, 22 KOs). 2008 U.S. Olympian Saddam Ali (17-0, 10 KOs) and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be in action.
Tickets priced at $250, $125, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 800-745-3000 and at the American Express Box Office. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.
New York, NY (12/4/13) – Before yet another sold-out Broadway Boxing card at NYC’s historic BB King Blues Club & Grill, DiBella Entertainment presented a thrilling 11-bout cad headline by New York fan-favorite junior middleweight Boyd Melson.
BOYD MELSON IMPRESSES AGAINST KING
In an impressive outing, Boyd Melson improved his record to 12-1-1 (3 KOs) with a dominant eight-round unanimous decision victory over the game Gundrick King18-11 (11 KOs). Round after round, Melson used adept footwork to avoid King’s advances and countered effectively with straight rights and pinpoint jabs. He also found a home for his left hook to the body which sapped his foe’s energy enough to keep him from mounting a sustained offense. After eight frames, each judge tallied 80-72, all for Melson.
ROSA HANDLES WILSON EASILY
Exciting undefeated super bantamweight prospect Luis Rosa improved to a perfect 15-0, 7KO’s, with an electrifying third-round TKO over Andre Wilson. Rosa came out fast, stalking Wilson around the ring. Midway through the round, a short left hook dropped Wilson. Rosa followed up that knockdown with another in round two, this time with the right hand. Dropped Wilson in the first with a hard left hook and again in the 2nd with right uppercut. In the third round another huge left hook dropped Wilson 2:24 of round number three.
YOUNAN SHINES AGAIN
In his second professional bout, 18-year-old blue-chip prospect Junior “Sugar Boy” Younan showed why many believe he will be the next superstar to come out of Brooklyn, New York as he dismantled Travis McClaren at just 22 seconds of the very first round. With the two fighters trading, Younan landed a picture perfect left hook that dropped McClaren hard. McClaren was able to beat the count but was in absolutely no condition to continue. It was the second first-round TKO for Younan in less than two months and a big 2014 is expected out of the super middleweight prospect.
CRUZ-AROCHO GO TO WAR IN FIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Behind the chants of ‘Pee-wee Pee-wee’ ringing throughout the room, Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz and Joshua Arocho fought in what was easily the fight of the night and one of the most exciting bouts during the entire 2013 Broadway Boxing series. Cruz controlled round one but then got caught with a counter right hand and went down hard. Cruz beat the count though and the two went toe-to-toe for the remainder of the round. In the second frame, Cruz opened a nasty cut over Arocho’s eye and the two began trading hard shots with Cruz getting the better of the exchanges. Round-after-round, Cruz and Arocho went to war, with Cruz pressing the action and having the upper hand. To his credit though Arocho hung tough and wouldn’t go down, returning fire in the process. The 6th and final round saw both fighters stand and trade hellacious shots from the beginning to the end, bringing the sold out crowd to a standing ovation for the entire three minutes. In the end all three judges scored the bout 58-55 for Cruz who improved his perfect record to 8-0, 5KO’s. Hats off to Arocho, who put on a heck of a performance in defeat.
Travis Peterkin, now 10-0, 5KO’s, used a vicious body attack to break down Tylon Burris, 4-2, 2KO’s. He also demonstrated a consistent and stiff jab as he applied pressure throughout. After seeing their charge taking punishment for several rounds, the corner of Burris pulled their fighter out of the contest after the completion of round five, awarding the TKO victory to Peterkin.
In his ninth bout of 2013, fast-rising and highly regarded up-and-coming middleweight prospect Antoine Douglas passed his toughest test to date, scoring a third round TKO over previously undefeated Colby Courter (4-0, 4KO’s). Douglas scored with heavy shots from both hands, mixing in a beautiful body attack and seemingly scoring at will against the tough-as-nails Courter. By the end of the second round, a huge swelling had developed on Courter’s eye. In the third round, a huge right-left combination by Douglas sent Courter down hard. Courter beat the but swelling above his left eye had ballooned even more, forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest at 1:12 of round number three. With the victory, Douglas improved to a perfect 11-0, 7KO’s.
Hard-hitting, promising super middleweight prospect Jerry Odom kept his perfect record and first-round KO ratio intact, stopping Eric Moon at 2:47 in the first round of their scheduled four-round contest. Odom dropped Moon with a straight right hand midway through the round and followed up the barrage dropping his opponent just moments later with a left. Moon was able to beat the count, but the end was near. Odom dropped Moon for the third and final time with another hard flurry and the referee rightfully called a halt to the contest. With the win Odom’s record now stands at a perfect 6-0, 6KO’s.
Canada’s Francy Ntetu improved to a perfect 11-0 with a third DQ over Julio Garcia. A short left hook dropped Garcia very early in round one but Garcia was able to beat the count. Not only was Garcia able to survive the following onslaught, he even came back to score with some big body shots of his own. The fighters went to war in the second round, with each having their moments landing hellacious shots with both hands. In the third, with Ntetu beginning to control the action, Garcia began scoring below the belt. After two points were deducted for low blows in the round, the referee rightfully disqualified him after the third consecutive foul. Official time of the disqualification was 2:34.
Queens junior welterweight Danny Gonzalez overwhelmed and broke down Harlem’s Kamal Muhammad forcing the ringside physician to call a halt to the contest at 2:40 of the third-round of their scheduled four-rounder. Gonzalez improved to 5-0, 3KO’s, with the stoppage.
In a good action junior lightweight bout, Joseliz Cepeda scored a majority four-round decision over Brooklyn’s Neuky Santelises. There was good action throughout with Cepeda applying pressure against his taller opponent. Santelises seemed to briefly stun Cepeda in the second, but Cepeda returned the favor in the third, badly hurting Santelises and having him trouble for most of the round. Cepeda didn’t let off the gas in the fourth as Santelises had trouble finding his legs. In the end, Cepeda was awarded the majority decision by scores of 40-36, 39-37, and 38-38. With the win, Cepeda improves to 6-2, while Santelises dropped to 5-2, 4KO’s.
Craig McEwan and Dashon Johnson fought to an ugly six-round decision with Johnson coming out on the winning end by scores of 58-55, 58-55, and 57-56. McEwan looked to use his distance against the much smaller Johnson, but Johnson was able to effectively get inside McEwan’s reach and score with looping shots with both hands.