By Luke Penhasi: In a make or break fight this Saturday night two aging veterans Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO’s) and Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KO’s) go at it on Showtime from the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, USA. It’s kind of an odd main event in that both guys are coming off of losses, but sadly that’s becoming the norm in boxing nowadays.
There are just so few real stars in the sport, and the ones that are stars are getting old now and beaten by the young lions. Malignaggi and Judah don’t really qualify as stars, but they are well known given the number of times they’ve been televised on HBO and Showtime in the past.
Malignaggi lost his last fight to Adrien Broner last June, and he’s been clear about what he hopes to get from the Judah fight. Malinaggi wants to take a victory over Judah and then use it to get a shot at the winner of the December 14th match between Broner and Marcos Maidana so that he can try and recapture his WBA welterweight title that he list to Broner. It sounds like a good goal, but it’s very realistic that Malignaggi will get a rematch against Broner anytime soon, and it’s also extremely unlikely that he’d beat Broner in a rematch. As close as that fight was, Broner was definitely the bigger puncher, and in boxing the harder puncher tends to win most of the time.
Judah hasn’t really said what he’s hoping to get from this fight. At 36, with 2 losses in his last 3 fights, it’s not realistic for Judah to hope that he can use a win over Malignaggi to get a big money fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Miguel Cotto or Manny Pacquiao. Judah has already fought Mayweather and Cotto, and been beaten by both of them. Pacquiao will never fight Judah because he’s a Golden Boy fighter.
Since there’s not a world title on the line for this Saturday’s fight, the best that Judah and Malignaggi can hope for is an eventual crack at IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander or a fight against the winner of the Maidana-Broner fight.
Judah has the better power and hand speed compared to Malignaggi, and that could be enough to get him the victory in this fight as long as he throws enough punches to give himself a shot at winning. Malignaggi will throw a lot of jabs in the fight and hope to win rounds by just jabbing.