The return of Paulie Malignaggi

23.01.07 - By Geoffrey Ciani: It’s been over seven months since Paulie Malignaggi’s last prizefight. In that bout, we saw Malignaggi give WBO super lightweight titlist, Miguel Cotto, one of his toughest challenges to date. In fact, Malignaggi managed to become the first (and to date, the only) fighter to have lasted the distance with Cotto in a title bout. Not only that, but the bout was competitive all the way to the final bell.

Going in, few observers expected much from relatively unknown Malignaggi, especially since he had considerably less big-fight experience. When Cotto dropped Malignaggi with a perfectly timed left hook in the second, most people prefigured a knockout was just around the corner. This, however, never came to fruition. Instead, the brave young warrior was able to make adjustments and fight his way back into the contest.

Having won many of the middle rounds (most of which were extremely close, and could have gone either way) it became more and more obvious that this young pugilist from Brooklyn, NY wasn’t the push-over many had expected. He was there to fight, and he was giving as good as he was getting.

In the end, Cotto was triumphant. Judges scored the bout unanimously in his favor, with cards reading 115-112, 116-111, and 116-111. Despite the loss, Malignaggi’s stock actually rose. Not only did he prove he had the heart and determination to fight at a championship level, but he also proved that he had solid skills to back it all up. After all, very few boxers have fought so competitively against an elite talent like Miguel Cotto.

February 17, Malignaggi will finally make his return to the ring when he squares off against Edner Cherry at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. With a professional record that now stands at 21-1, Malignaggi hopes to impress and work his way back into title contention. The bout will be televised on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark”, so he has a great opportunity to shine in the spotlight once again, and the chance to prove that his bout against Cotto was no fluke.

Be sure to tune in and watch the return of Paulie Malignaggi.

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Article posted on 24.01.2007

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