Impressive victories by Shawn Porter and Erislandy Lara on the undercard, while Bika and Dirrell fight to a draw in a good fight
By: Danny Serratelli, ringside
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi , who just turned 33 years old picked up his 33rd win as a professional in what seems like his 9th life in world class boxing by dominating Zab Judah over 12 rounds. With the victory he became the NABF welterweight champion and, in addition, he was awarded a special Championship of Brooklyn belt designed by SARTONK.
Entering this fight, it seemed most members of the media and fans favored Zab Judah. According to Bernard Hopkins and members of team Malignaggi well known boxing writer Thomas Hauser left the arena before the main event because he did not want to see Paulie get hurt. However Malignaggi has been dealing with people who lack faith in him since his amateur days and he continues to thrive off of proving these people wrong. Paulie proved the naysayers wrong again tonight and in brilliant fashion.
Malignaggi had an excellent game plan which he executed to perfection, and he did not deviate all the way through in one of the best performances of his career. Paulie, 33-5, 7 KO’s came out working behind a very effective jab and good movement in round 1 as he dictated the distance and tempo. In round 2 Zab “Super” Judah, 42-9, 29 KO’s scored a knockdown that looked like it could shift the momentum early on. Paulie was visibly upset that it was called a knockdown and replays showed that there was a punch thrown, but Paulie did trip over Zab’s foot. The hometown crowd at BarclaysCenter in Brooklyn, NY got behind Zab at that point as they sensed the knockdown would be the beginning of Zab taking over the fight, and possibly the beginning of the end for Paulie.
At the end of round 2 heading back to his corner visibly upset for he knew that a 10-8 round would more than negate round 1 and round 2 which he was winning aside from the knockdown. Lesser men may have deviated from the game-plan, but Paulie stuck to it for the rest of the fight, and he explained it a little at the post fight press conference. He continued to work behind a spectacular jab that kept the range Paulie wanted to fight at and backed Zab up at times. He used the right hand more than we have seen in recent fights, and as he explained closed his stance a little as he does whenever he fights leftys to minimize their opportunity to counter with the straight left. Each round from there on seemed to go the same way, Paulie dominated on ring generalship, and he stayed committed to his plan to keep Zab backing up as much as possible because of his scouting report on Zab that Zab only does damage when he can set and come forward.
Malignaggi is a joy to listen to and watch. He is a student of the boxing who breaks everything down explained a lot after the fight. That fact has also made his part time transition into announcing fights on Showtime was a no brainer for the network. From the beginning and all the way through Paulie moved confidently and with purpose, dictating the distance and showing people what “ring generalship” is. Zab was very gracious in defeat and throughout the promotion the fighters showed nothing but the utmost respect for each other.
It is funny, but typical that the same people who were picking Zab to run through Paulie were also the first ones to declare Zab shot and done after the fight. Zab said he had a great camp and felt good tonight. He said Paulies herky-jerky movement and speed was a lot tougher to deal with than people think. Zab said as he tried to go after Paulie numerous times throughout the fight, but he felt sloppy and couldn’t land clean.
Both fighters intents were clear moving forward, both first and foremost said they would be coming back to fight. Zab had nothing specific in mind but said he felt great. Paulie made it clear he wanted the winner of Adrian Broner vs. Maidana, otherwise and big money fight. “This is an emotional win for me,” said Malignaggi. “It definitely allows me to continue boxing. If I had lost, I don’t know that I would have wanted to continue. But this big win puts me in the right spot to fight in this division for lots of money…lots.
When Bernard Hopkins, who was in his promoter hat was asked he said he would like to see Paulie against Danny Garcia. The judges did an excellent job a night as my card matched judges in he final 2 fights. The Doghouseboxing/Brickcityboxing card read 117-110 Malignaggi, while the official scores were the same 117-110 twice and 116-111.
In the co-main event, Shawn “Showtime” Porter, 23-0-1, 14 KO’s was crowned the new IBF Welterweight World Champion after defeating Devon Alexander “The Great” 25-2, 14 KO’s by unanimous decision 115-113, 116-112, 116-112. The Doghouseboxing/Brickcityboxing scorecard also had the fight close 115-113 Porter.
Porter took a page out of Tim Bradley’s blueprint and made sure he disrupted Alexander’s flow. If Alexander is allowed to dictate the tempo it can mean a long night but Porter got down and dirty and was dominating many of the early rounds. The fight was getting closer late though as Porter appeared to take his foot off of the accelerator.
Erislandy Lara,19-1-2, 12 KO’s, soundly defeated Austin Trout, 26-2, 14 KO’s, by unanimous decision in a technical bout. The scores were 115-109 and 117-110 twice. Trout never seemed comfortable in the ring. Lara sent Trout down in the 11th round for only the second time in Trout’s career. Lara makes for boring fights and against another slick southpaw in Austin Trout most of the fight was two counter punchers waiting for the other guy to throw something to counter with a lot of feints.
“I did what Canelo couldn’t do. I dominated Trout and I dropped him. Now we have to make a fight that everyone wants to see which is me against Canelo,” said Lara.
“I’m coming right back,” said Trout. “Who can say that they fought such high caliber fighters as Cotto, Canelo and Lara back-to-back-to-back? His style was tricky, but I don’t sign up for easy fights. He was the better man tonight.”
The opening bout of the evening, a thrilling slugfest, had the excitable BarclaysCenter crowd on its feet at times. Sakio Bika 32-5-3, 21 KO’s and Anthony Dirrell 26-0-1, 22 KO’s went toe-to-toe from the first bell and battled to a split draw. Dirrell floored Bika early in the fight, and Bika later lost a point for a low-blow. In the end, the final tally was a split draw: 114-112 (Bika), 116-110 (Dirrell), 113-113. After the scores were announced, Dirrell immediately left the ring without commenting on his performance. Ringside reporter Jim Gray was able to catch up with Dirrell in his locker room shortly after.
Dirrell landed some of the harder more crisp shots, but Bika was game all night and was busier. Dirrell started giving away the last round putting his hands up in a round and a fight still possibly up grabs.
“I want to apologize to the fans for leaving the ring like that but I was just disappointed,” said a frustrated Dirrell. “He hit low and head butted. I definitely want a rematch.”
Bika felt differently. “I feel like I was fighting the referee as well. The body shot was a legitimate body shot. Not below the belt line. I got him on the belt line, Dirrell just wanted to milk it. I was the busier fighter and now I just want to fight the best ahead of me.”
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast, will replay Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME and Tuesday, December 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME. It will be available on SHOWTIME On Demand and SHOWTIME Anytime.
Results and quotes from tonight’s non-televised preliminary bouts:
JULIAN WILLIAMS (14-0-1, 7 KO’s), def. Orlando Lora (29-5-2, 19 KO’s) via unanimous decision in an eight-round super welterweight bout
“I was going to take my time. I kept touching the body more and more and using my jab.
“He was easy to hit and I’m difficult to hit. His feet were slower and mine are faster.
“I always rep Philly. I love Philadelphia. I want to keep the tradition of great boxers from Philly.
“We have a lot of great talent coming out of the city right now and I want to keep this thing going.”
SADAM ALI (18-0, 11 KO’s), def. Jesus Selig (12-2-1, 6 KO’s) via TKO7 in a 10-round welterweight bout
“[On the stoppage] I think the referee saw what was going to happen eventually. Everything was landing.
“I like to entertain the crowd so I really wish they wouldn’t have stopped it that fast.
“The crowd wanted to see action, but you have to respect the ref.
“I felt less rusty than my last fight. My opponent [tonight] had a better record.
“I still felt a little rusty, but I know that as I go, I am going to just keep getting better and better.”
MARCUS BROWNE (8-0, 7 KO’s), def. Kevin Engel (20-9, 16 KO’s) via TKO1 in an eight-round light heavyweight bout
“Going the distance [in my last fight] showed me how to be patient. I know that if I don’t catch him in the first round, I will catch him in the second. If I don’t catch him in the second, I will catch him in the third.
“[I feel so good] I could fight again tomorrow if I wanted to.”
JUAN DOMINGUEZ (16-0, 11 KO’s), def. Camilo Perez (9-2, 4 KO’s) via unanimous decision in an eight-round featherweight bout
“It is great fighting in BarclaysCenter. This is a special night. A whole night of world title fights that no one will forget.
“It felt great to go eight rounds. This is my second time going the distance.
“I need to learn to box more because I’m going to have to fight against tougher guys from here on out.”
ABOUT “JUDAH VS. MALIGNAGGI”:
Judah vs. Malignaggi was a 12-round fight for the NABF Welterweight title taking place on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at BarclaysCenter in Brooklyn, New York. The event was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Super Judah Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T, Grudge Match and Casamigos Tequila.
The fight, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, headlined a four-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event.