Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Close Call for Malignaggi

It seems like the fight on Saturday night was a little too close for comfort, as far as Paul Malignaggi is concerned anyway. With misleading scores of 115-113, 116-113, and 117-111, Paulie retained his title via unanimous decision against a more-than-game Herman Ngoudjo.

The fight was closer than what the judges' scorecards might indicate. While I did score it 115-113 for Paulie (having given him rounds 1,2,5,8,9,10, and 11), most rounds were extremely close and very hard to score. Malignaggi seemed to edge out the rounds he won while Ngoudjo dominated those in his column. There was also a scary moment for Paulie in round seven where I thought he was going to get knocked out, or at least suffer a knock down. His legs were spaghetti and he looked to be disoriented after a hard right hand. Instead of grabbing on (like a veteran would do), Paulie decided to come at Herman and keep throwing (he would later say he wanted Ngoudjo do believe he wasn't hurt). I hope Buddy McGirt teaches him to hold on next time or he might end up buying the farm.

Ironically, this less-than-stellar performance probably helps his odds of getting in the ring with Ricky Hatton, the recognized champion at 140 pounds and Malignaggi's biggest pay day waiting to happen. Of course, this all would fall apart if Paulie isn't able to win the rematch against Lovemore N'Dou (something I doubt given that I thought Paulie won all 12 rounds in the first fight).

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