By Greg Stiller: Welterweight Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO’s) sees his fight this Saturday night against former two division world champion Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KO’s) as just business in their fight at the Barclays Center in Brookly, New York. Both Malignaggi and Judah grew up Brooklyn and have known each other a long time. Judah moved away to Las Vegas, Nevada, but Malignaggi still lives in Brooklyn and enjoys the place.
Malignaggi sees this fight in terms of both of them being gladiators like in the days of the Romans where two guys know each other while training for gladiator combat, but still have to get in the arena and fight one another despite the two getting along. It’s just a fact of life that they have to meet up and battle it out in front of a large crowd at the Barclays Center and a massive amount of fans who will be watching it on Showtime on Saturday night.
Malignaggi said “Back in the Roman times, you never knew who you fought, but you fought to the death. Sometimes, you probably did have to fight your friend, and it was either him or you. Like Zab said, it’s not personal for him, and it’s not personal for me, either, but it’s me or him. Somebody has to win, and somebody has to lose on Saturday night. I’ve prepared very well. Once the bell rings, you have to be a different person.”
Yes, it’s too bad one of these two gladiators has to lose, because it’s sad to see a couple of friends having to get in the ring and throw shots at each other with so much on the line. There’s more on the line for the 36-year-old Judah than the 33-year-old Malignaggi, because he’s older and he doesn’t have the Showtime gig that Malignaggi has as an analyst. Malignaggi was recently a world champion in holding down the WBA belt from 2012 to 2013. Maignaggi made good money in his short span as the WBA champion. With Judah, he hasn’t held a world title since 2011 when he briefly held the IBF title after beating Kaizer Mabuza. Judah lost the title in his first defense against Amir Khan in July of 2011.