By: Danny Serratelli
People said Paulie Malignaggi was going into this fight with Juan Diaz to lose. They said he was making excuses about the size and padding in the ring, the purse, the judges, the catchweight, and the referee. It turned out that Malignaggi was speaking from the heart and telling the truth. His statements all proved to be true. Juan Diaz is a top fighter who came to fight and put the pressure on Malignaggi for all 12 rounds. Malignaggi fought his best fight since he captured the title against Lovemore Ndou.
Malignaggi moved well in a small ring and did not allow Diaz to get set for most of the fight. While he took some punches that appeared to be hard from Diaz, for most of the fight he moved well and displayed superior ring generalship. He used a dominant jab and a decent one-two behind great movement to keep Diaz off balance for most of the night.
The Brick City card and the Harold Lederman card read 115-113 Malignaggi after 12 rounds of boxing. Lennox Lewis also stated on the air that he felt Malignaggi won the fight and it appeared that Max Kellerman also agreed. The judges seemed to judge the fight based on Diaz’s home crowd reaction rather than based on the action in the ring. Judge Raul Caiz’s 115-113 for Diaz was reasonable, David Sutherland’s 116-112 was questionable and Gale Van Hoy’s 118-110 was totally ridiculous.
Juan Diaz is an action fighter and a warrior. He came to fight and he kept the pressure on all night. However, Malignaggi obtained the redemption he was seeking after losing to Ricky Hatton and switching trainers. Malignaggi, to his credit told the truth at the post fight interview. In a brief interview he explained what some of the problems are in boxing. Both warriors should be commended for putting on a great fight for the fans. A rematch in MSG should be next, but it is highly unlikely Golden Boy will agree to a rematch even under the same one sided conditions.