Paulie Malignaggi Scores Rare Stoppage Win In TKO’ing Michael Lozada In 6th - What Next For “The Magic Man?”

by James Slater - Last night’s big bill in Canada, the final big fight card of the year, was full of surprises. Not only did the legendary Bernard Hopkins go down for the first time in many a year (actually he went down twice, as we know), B-Hop also recovered from the knockdowns to put on yet another surprisingly great performance - especially surprising was Hopkins’ aggression and intensity in the late rounds.

The main event’s result, a majority draw, surely came as a surprise to a good number of fans also (certainly no-one predicted a draw beforehand). Another surprise in Canada, was the fact that Paulie Malignaggi scored his first stoppage win since 2003.. Taking out Mexico’s Michael Lozada - who was overwhelmed by Malignaggi’s speed of hand, being rescued by the referee after taking one to many combinations in the 6th - the former IBF 140-pound champ showed he just might have enough left to be able to achieve something in his new weight class of welterweight.

Now with Golden Boy Promotions, “The Magic Man” is 28-4(6) overall and 1-0(1) as a 147-pounder. Looking ahead to his next fight, the 30-year-old from Brooklyn could wind up landing a big fight. With Golden Boy behind him, and with his name value, “The Magic Man” could possibly even wind up fighting for another major title.

When he announced he was moving up to welterweight, some fans wondered whether or not Malignaggi would be able to cut it against the best guys there. We still don’t know, as last night’s win, though useful, was no biggie. But we did see how Malignaggi has retained his speed of hand at the higher weight, and maybe he is capable of scoring another stoppage or two down the road.

There has been talk that Malignaggi may face another “Magic,” in Matthew Hatton. The brother of the man who stopped Paulie in the 11th-round down at 140 in 2008 may not be as good as big brother Ricky, but the reigning European welterweight champ is a good fighter in his own right. There has also been talk of Hatton going in with red-hot prospect Saul Alvarez, so we will have to wait and see which fight gets made.

Malignaggi will look to keep busy in 2011, whoever he fights. And looking at the welterweight ratings, there are a number of fights that would be interesting ones to make. The top guns will be out of Malignaggi’s reach, but guys like Selcuk Aydin, Jan Zaveck or maybe even Joan Guzman could be possible foes for the slickster.

Article posted on 19.12.2010

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