It’s On! Judah vs Malignani
After many years of talks, agreements, disagreements, finally Brooklyn’s 2 favorite sons former world champs, Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi and Zab “Super” Judah agreed to fight each other in a battle of Brooklyn which in reality is only for “bragging rights” of the Borough.
For decades these 2 young ring warriors who went their separate ways career-wise but in the same field of endeavor, Boxing, and winning world boxing crowns, will “meet” in the Barclays Center Arena, Brooklyn, N.Y. in a 12 round fight, Saturday, December 7, 2013.
This fight has been a promoters dream for decades and finally Oscar De La Hoya’s, Golden Boy Promotions was able to convince them, Zab and Paulie to fight each other.
Who are these 2 “kids”, who are still very young-early 30’s, and have fought around the world winning world titles?
Paulie Malignaggi, 32-5, 7 k.o.’s, was born in Brooklyn in 1980 but was moved to Italy, Sicily, where he stayed until he was 6 years when his family moved back to Brooklyn, and being an aggressive kid he always got into trouble and was thrown out of school at 16. To keep him out of trouble his Grandfather with whom he lived took him to the gym to keep him out of “more trouble” since he liked to fight so much. “It was like love at first sight since my first day at the gym, June 26, 1997, and I am still here”, stated Malignaggi.
Paulie Malignaggi as an amateur fighter was a 2 time New York Golden Gloves Champ, as well as 2001 United States Amateur Champ. Having won enough medals and trophies Malignaggi made his professional debut, July 7, 2001 at age 20 scoring a first round knockout, and going 7 for 7 in his first year as a pro.
Developing hand trouble Malignaggi did not fight for 7 months, but when he returned to the ring wars remained undefeated until he faced another undefeated fighter, the hard hitting Junior Welterweight Champ, Miguel Cotto. It was a 12 round grueling fight in which Malignaggi not only suffered his first loss but, also had severe cuts on both eyes, bloody nose, and also a fractured right cheek bone. Malignaggi returned to the ring in the year 2007 and on June 16th, 2007 won his first world title by defeating Lovemore N’Dou, and won the I.B.F. Junior Welterweight Crown. The Magic Man was back.
Defending his title successfully 3 times Malignaggi then challenged I.B.O. Junior 147 pound Champ Ricky Hatton and was stopped in the 11th round. Disappointed Paulie took a long rest then returned to the ring fighting Juan “Baby Bull” twice, then agreed to fight the W.B.A. Champion, Amir Khan, but sadly the result was the same, courageous Malignaggi was stopped by Khan.
Disappointed but not wanting to be counted out, Malignaggi then went to the Ukraine and on April 29, 2012, won his 2nd. world title, W.B.A. Welterweight title, by knocking out Vyacheslav Senchenko in the 9th round. He defended the title once before losing it to Adrien Broner by a close split decision.
So now, what about “Mr. Brownville”, Zab”Super” Judah, 42-8, 29 knockouts, who seems to have been around forever, boxing since he was 6 years old? This young man was born into a fighting family just like Floyd Mayweather. His mother and father were kickboxing and martial arts champions, and his 9 brother were also boxers. Zab became the star of the Judah family compiling an outstanding amateur record of 110-5. Zab won 2 National and N.Y. Golden Glove Titles, although he missed the 1996 Olympic team.
Judah then turned pro in September 20, 1996 scoring a 2nd round knockout and, was on his way to ring glory winning his first 18 fights in a row which included a victory over Mickey Ward and winning the U.S.B.A. Junior Welterweight crown. He continued his winning ways until he was stopped by Kostya Tszyu. Returning to the ring wars Zab moved up to 147 pounds and captured all 3 crowns, then fought Floyd Mayweather in a hotly contested fight until he tired badly and lost a decision to Mayweather.
Judah fought all of the top fighters like Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse with an up and down success, but is still a top fighter in his own right.
So now we have the “Kings” of Brooklyn fighting each other for not only “bragging” rights but also for the vacant N.A.B.O. & N.A.B.F. Welterweight Crowns.
So who will win this fight since their “creds”, are actually worth more than the belts? As hard as Judah hits-great knockout power and a south paw-I feel that the Magic Man Malignaggi who already has a future career in Showtime Cable broadcasting as an expert analyst, will “dance” his way to a decision.
Thanks to Golden Boy Promotions, we have a star-studded supporting card of present world champs, former world champs, and contenders.
Sakio Bika, 32-5-2, 21 k.o.’s , W.B.C. Super Middleweight champ from Australia, will defend his crown against undefeated ex-Olympian Andre Dirrell, 26-0, 22 knockouts. Erislandy Lara, 18-1-2, 12 k.o.’s, from Guantanamo, Cuba, and W.B.A. Interim Super Welterweight Champ will defend against, former world champ, Austin “No Doubt” Trout, 26-1, 14 k.o.’s., and in the semi-final Devon Alexander, 25-1, 14 knockouts, & I.B.F. 147 pound champ, will be challenged by undefeated Shawn Porter, 22-0, 14 k.o.’s., from Cleveland.
So go to the Barclays, or if you choose, sit at home and watch a great boxing card on TV. But if you want to travel, go to Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, to watch another great championship fight card.