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Zab Judah vs. Paulie Malignaggi possible for December 7th

malig77It seems that the December 7th fight between Amir Khan and Devon Alexander won’t be happening after all.

Instead of the fight there’s talk that a bout between 35-year-old Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KO’s) and former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO’s) could happen instead on that date, according to Steve Kim.

It’s a decent fight if it can get made. With Malignaggi, you never know. The possible co-feature could be Keith Thurman vs. Jesus Soto Karass.

Judah should be able to beat Malignaggi if he comes into the fight motivated and fighting smart. He’s got the power and speed advantage over Malignaggi, and he would just need to avoid getting cut up to get the win.

Judah has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights and is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision loss to WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia last April. Malignaggi lost his WBA welterweight title in a controversial 12 round split decision to Adrien Broner last June in a fight that many boxing fans felt that Malignaggi should have won it.

At this point Malignaggi and Judah both need a big win to stay relevant in the welterweight division. Malignaggi has looked shaky since moving up to the welterweight division in 2010 following an 11th round TKO loss to Amir Khan in May of 2010.

Malignaggi has won 5 of his 6 fights at 147, but his competition has been less than super during that stretch. He beat WBA 147 lb. belt holder Vyacheslav Senchenko by a 9th round TKO last year in April to win the WBA crown.

Malignaggi then successfully defended the title once in barely beating Pablo Cesar Cano by a 12 round split decision a year ago in October of 2012. Malignaggi thought he easily won the fight, but the judges and the boxing public as a whole disagreed.

It was no surprise then when Malignaggi lost his WBA title in his last bout to Broner. What was a surprise was how well Malignaggi fought and how truly terrible Broner looked. It’s unclear whether it was a case of Malignaggi shining or Broner being badly exposed as a pretender. Whatever the case, Malignaggi has a loss on his resume and he definitely needs a win if he wants to continue with his career.

Judah was stopped in the 5th round by Amir Khan in July of 2011. That was the fight where Khan grabbed Judah’s head and held him down while nailing him with a belt line shot. The shot was a clean punch, but the referee missed the fact that Khan was holding Judah’s head down with one with one of his arms while he hit him.

It probably didn’t matter all that much in the big scheme of things because Judah looked over-matched and intimidated by Khan, and he likely would have taken a beating and been stopped anyway had the fight been allowed to continue. Judah did look good in his last fight against Danny Garcia. He did a great job of neutralizing Garcia’s left hook and fighting him to a standstill. Garcia got the win but it was very close.