What Now For Paulie Malignaggi, Nate Campbell?

boxingby James Slater - Both Paulie Malignaggi and Nate Campbell, two proud warriors who have given us some great fights in their time, suffered heavy defeats last night in New York. Malignaggi, as has been well documented already, was stopped in the 11th-round of a largely one-sided fight with WBA 140-pound champ Amir Khan, while Campbell, on the night's co-feature at Madison Square Garden, lost a virtual shutout on the cards in his ten-rounder with Victor Ortiz.

What now for both former champions?

Though he is still relatively young at age 29, Malignaggi, as was discussed post-fight last night, may no longer have the legs he once had. And, while his chin is still sound (as he proved against Khan, taking some hard and stiff left jabs and right hands to the head), Malignaggi, in having lost a step or two, will likely face an uphill battle if he is to box on in world class. No, Malignaggi isn't a shot fighter, but the beatings have been adding up just recently.. "The Magic Man" looked rejuvenated in his two fights with the talented Juan Diaz, but before that fight he was hammered to defeat in 11-rounds by Ricky Hatton and he had two tough nights with Lovemore N'dou and Herman Ngoudjo, respectively.

The poor showings against N'dou and Ngoudjo and the loss to Hatton were put down to the style-change trainer Buddy McGirt had instilled in Malignaggi, but there can be no excuse for last night's heavy loss to Khan. Should the gutsy and brave New Yorker decide to carry on with his career, that incredible chin he has could well be the only world class asset he will retain. This could mean that the punishment becomes too much even for the former IBF 140-pound ruler who has never been cleanly KO'd in his career.

Malignaggi, now 27-4(5) may wish to box once more, so as to go out with a win; and there are a number of recognisable names "The Magic Man" could still probably beat. But are there any world champions out there that Malignaggi could defeat? If not, is there any real reason in going on? When being seen as the best is a distinction Paulie has always craved, it doesn't look likely.

Much the same could be said of former undisputed lightweight champion Nate Campbell. Even older than Malignaggi at age 38, and, judging by his showing last night, way more faded a force, "The Galaxxy Warrior" doesn't figure to reign as a world ruler ever again. Still tough and durable, again like Malignaggi, Campbell was also slow and out of ideas against Ortiz; basically coming forward but doing little but remaining in his shell as he did so.

In falling to 33-6-1(25), Campbell also failed to pick up a win in his second straight fight - both of them taking place at 140-pounds. The No-Contest against Tim Bradley left some people thinking Campbell was past his best, and last night's unanimous decision loss confirmed it. If Campbell, a real warrior, does decide to box on, it will be a tough task for him; as talent-rich as the 140-pound division is right now. And, as with Malignaggi, if he can no longer beat the best, is there any point in the former champ carrying on?

Of course, both Malignaggi and Campbell have the right to fight on, especially if they feel they need to continue earning a living that way. That said, we may well have seen the final curtain fall on two fine careers last night in New York.

Article posted on 17.05.2010

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