By Carlos Young de San Felipe
This is without a doubt a queer match up that had to be. It serves to answer questions coming from both camps. In Paulie’s camp they need to know that Paulie is still one of the top Jr. Welterweights in the world. I mean after all he’s been on the Ring Magazine pound 4 pound list of Junior Welters for 153 weeks already, almost 3 years, and currently ranked #5. For Paulie to be on this list for such a long time is a testament to who he is as a gainful fighter. Paulie has very little knockout power, as his record reveals, only 5 in 30 fights yet he is ranked amongst the best in the business. Does Paulie have boxing skills, answer; yes, no doubt. Does Paulie have heart, answer; yes, without question. Can Paulie take a punch, again the answer is yes and Paulie will be in shape to go the distance.
Paulie Malignaggi will be ready to fight Amir Khan, the British 2004 Olympian that’s trying to make his move in the Jr. Welterweight division by coming to America on May 15.
It’s not easy to dominate Malignaggi. There have only been two fighters able to dominate Paulie for 12 rounds, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. Cotto got a UD and Hatton got a TKO for his work during the 11th round when Paulie’s trainer Buddy McGirt threw in the towel. As a matter of fact comparing the number of rounds fought between the two fighters over their last five fights puts the “Magic Man” Malignaggi at 55 rounds and “King” Khan at 21 rounds and if you take away the 12 rounds against Andriy Kotelnik, then Amir has only fought 9 rounds in four fights over two years.
Now you see the need for the fight with Paulie, because all will be tested without taking any serious risk.
Paulie would fight anyone, really he would. He is a fearless fighter that doesn’t scare a soul in the division. Why, no punching power obviously and that is precisely the reason Amir “King” Khan is coming to America as the favorite. All that is expected of Paulie is quality sparring. No one expects a win from Paulie but Paulie. The “Magic Man” believes he can win and that alone is enough to excite boxing fans. When you watch a Paul Malignaggi fight you know he’s trying to win.
Can Paulie win, yes he can, but he has to have his “A” game and he has to win the exchanges and get out of the way of Amir’s strong right hand. Paulie has to bring into the ring the experience of all 228 rounds of professional boxing to win this fight, but the secret to a “Magic Man” win is the early rounds. In my opinion Paulie has to win 4 of the first 6 rounds and then his experience, stamina and boxing IQ will make it very hard for Amir Khan to get the win. Amir has only gone 12 rounds twice in 23 fights and so you have to be curious about his stamina. To me that’s the only question there is about Khan and not his chin in this fight because we all know that Paulie will hit him on the chin but it won’t hurt much. I expect the fight to go the distance and the score cards to be very close. If “King” Khan is for real the “Magic Man” will be lost for tricks.
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