There are three things Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi have in common leading into this fight, on Showtime’s Saturday night main event at Barclays Center; both men will be coming in from competitive defeats from elite younger opponents in their previous fights, known to throw plenty of trash talk, and both hail from Brooklyn. Here’s my Judah vs. Malignaggi preview base on these things that both men have in common.
On their previous fights
Zab Judah 43-8-0 (KO 29), showed tremendous heart in front of his hometown crowd, in Brooklyn and managed to stay competitive throughout the fight against a decade younger champion, in Danny Garcia. Judah stayed on his feet despite wobbled and in deep trouble taking punishment in rounds five and six from straight right hands of Garcia.
Watching Judah wobbled reminds me of his first career knockout against Tyzu, wherein his hands hang loose on his side with his knees trembling. But against Garcia, he refused to go down.
However in the eighth round, another right hand caught Judah that sent him down on floor with cut below his left eye. But it didn’t break the heart of Judah; he went up, fought back and gave Garcia trouble in the remaining rounds. Although, his efforts weren’t enough to get the judges nod.
Paulie Malignaggi 32-5-0 (KO 7), was the heavy underdog in his last fight against Adrien Broner. It seems to me that he was put in front of Broner, to make Broner ‘look good’ in moving up two weight classes, and an instant ‘champion’ at the welterweight division. But that was not smooth as what most expected. Instead, Malignaggi wasn’t just competitive in trash talking leading into the fight, but also gave Broner trouble, and shall I say ‘exposed’ Broner to some degree.
Malignaggi 33, not only finished the fight but showed success early, boxing Broner. He used his jabs and fought on the outside and earned Tom Miller scorecards, which means to me that Malignaggi is a better boxer.
On trash talking and being both from Brooklyn
I’m a bit surprise about these two gentlemen from Brooklyn, for not trash talking each other. Well, I believed for one good reason. If they will spit venom against each other it’s their fans from Brooklyn will be hurt. According to Judah during a conference call with media, “They said Paulie and I said ‘Paulie, nah, Paulie is my homeboy.”
But I was like, ‘Hey, you know, this is an opportunity that you’ve got to take for boxing.’ So I guess we’re here now. Like I said, this is a fight where there’s no animosity or anything like that. It’s just us going in there and representing for our city.”
It’s good to hear that both men had mutual respect to each other; even though they are vying for no world title, but instead who’s gonna be Brooklyn’s king.
In my opinion, Malignaggi is the better boxer, Amir Khan believed so. And he needs to prove that he’s indeed the better boxer, in order to win this fight. Malignaggi don’t have enough power in either hand to put Judah in trouble with a single punch. He needs to do more than what he did to Broner, and that is to move smart, throw more combinations and fight from the outside.
For Judah, I think he needs to be aggressive here, knowing that Malignaggi will try to outbox him. I think, Judah still had the quickness to sneak in those power left hands more on Malignaggi than what he did against Garcia. He will have the ‘puncher’s role’ in this fight.
I believed, the outcome of this fight will depend on how Malignaggi would take Juda’s best shot, which I believe Malignaggi can handle. And if indeed he can handle Juda’s power then, I’ve got Malignaggi to win by decision over 12 rounds of entertaining fight with cheers from the boxing fans of the city of New York.