This Saturday night in Washington D.C., our nation’s capital brings Boxing fans a championship triple-header. The main event of the night will feature a light heavyweight unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov. The second of the three championship bouts will be fought by former two division world champion, Paulie Malignaggi, and current IBF welterweight world champion, undefeated “Showtime” Shawn Porter. Both Porter and Malignaggi have been fighting very well recently, and neither man seems to have swayed the boxing world one way or another as to who has the upper hand coming into Saturday night. Porter is the younger, stronger fighter. Malignaggi is the quicker, more seasoned veteran.
Each fighter will need to implement very different strategies that put their advantages to good use. For Shawn Porter, he has to make Paulie Malignaggi fight a young man’s fight. Shawn Porter is not a counter puncher, so it is imperative that he gets off first on Malignaggi. Porter is far from a devastating puncher, and Malignaggi is a tough fighter who takes a good punch. So the chances of Porter scoring a stoppage are unlikely, he will have to be ready to fight all three minutes of twelve hard rounds. Porter will have to push the pace to make the older Malignaggi feel his age, but he himself must be able to sustain what he does in the first round until the final bell. Malignaggi has gone the full twelve rounds seven times in his career, five of those fights were championship bouts. Porter went 12 rounds for the first time in his career in his previous win against Devon Alexander. Despite being the younger man by 7 years, it is questionable whether Porter has the edge in endurance over Malignaggi.
Shawn Porter will also have to use his strength and maul Malignaggi on the inside. Porter is the stronger man, and he knows how to fight effectively on the inside. It is important that Porter closes the distance on Malignaggi, and not allow the faster Malignaggi to get off his combinations on the outside. All in all. Shawn Porter is going to have to impose his youth and physicality on Paulie Malignaggi to beat him and retain his title.
Paulie Malignaggi is fighting very well and having a late career surge into his 30s. At 33 years old, Malignaggi still posses much of the quickness he had as the brash, loud-talking junior welterweight years ago. Malignaggi will need all of his ring intelligence, speed and boxing skills to get past the young lion in Porter. It all begins with the jab for Malignaggi, his most important punch, Malignaggi will have to time Porter with the jab as he attempts to put pressure on him. Malignaggi will also have to use the jab to dictate the pace and work when Porter is not throwing punches to pile up points. The jab will also have to set up combinations for Malignaggi, and he must stay on the outside. Essentially, the game plan for Malignaggi should be to take Porter to school, and try to give him a boxing lesson. It is what Paulie Malignaggi does best, and it is his best bet to become a two-time welterweight champion Saturday night.
This is a very tough fight to pick and makes for an excellent co feature to Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov’s light heavyweight unification bout. It is just as intriguing a fight as the main event, and the result will have a serious impact on one of the most talented divisions in boxing. It will all depend on if the younger, stronger Porter can impose his will on Malignaggi, or if Malignaggi can make Porter his pupil and send him home with a boxing lesson. With the way Malignaggi has shown he still has a good amount of gas left in the tank in his past several fights, he will find a way with his superior boxing skills to get the job done. It will be a close fight, but Malignaggi will have a trick or two up his sleeve to pull out a close one.
BRB’s FINAL PREDICTION: PAULIE MALIGNAGGI VIA SPLIT DECISION.