Boxing

Diaz-Malignaggi II - A Rematch That Has To Happen?

by James Slater - The recent August fight between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi sure got a lot of people talking. Due to the controversial unanimous decision victory that Diaz was awarded with in his home state of Texas, fans everywhere debated who really should have won - "The Baby Bull" or "The Magic Man." This interest and debate seemed to have made a rematch, in some place other than Texas, a sure thing. However, only recently it was reported how Diaz and his team pulled out of negotiations for a return fight, and it appeared as though there would be no part-two after all..

But yesterday, "The Bible of Boxing's" on line web site reported how Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy told them that the two fighters' teams have returned to the negotiating table, and that the rematch is now once again close to being made.

"I'm trying to finalize it," Schaefer told Ring on line. "I think one of the most talked-about fights on the internet is Diaz-Malignaggi II. I think people really want to see it."

Well, is that true or not; do you guys really want to see a rematch?

August 22nd's fight was a good fight, and there was plenty of appealing action and lots of punches thrown. One of "The Magic Man's" more fan-friendly fights in quite a while, there was no booing in this one (not even when the result was announced - including a quite ridiculous 118-110 vote for Diaz - because, of course, the Texas fans were simply happy that their man won).

And a rematch, suggested to take place in a neutral site (either Chicago or Las Vegas) would almost certainly do good numbers for its intended broadcaster HBO (After Dark). But is this fight one that simply HAS to happen? Let's be fair, for justice to be done, Malignaggi should get another crack at Diaz. The decision in August, while far from one of the worst in boxing, sure was a dodgy one - made even worse by that crazy 118-110 tally.

What other options are there for the two fighters in case the return does fail to materialise? Quite simply, none that are as appealing (to the fans) or as easy to make as this fight. Sure, Diaz has mentioned how he'd like to fight Ricky Hatton if he returns, and Malignaggi could maybe get a title fight with IBF 140-pound ruler Juan Urango. But with the iron being as hot as it is right now due to the debate over who won in August, no fight makes more sense for either guy than a rematch.

There will no doubt be problems to be worked out as the two sides work to thrash out a deal - such as what weight the fight will take place at, who the three judges will be, and who gets the bigger percentage of the purse money.

But hopefully this can and will be done. To answer the question: yes, this rematch is one that has to take place. As the robbed Malignaggi said after the first fight; fighters work too hard to get treated so badly.

A rematch would give Malignaggi a shot at making things right. A rematch would give Diaz a chance to silence all those people who say he was given a gift.

Both warriors need to settle things in the only place that matters.

Article posted on 08.10.2009



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