Malignaggi’s Last Hurrah?

By Robert Ecksel on March 4, 2017
Malignaggi’s Last Hurrah?
When he is on the air he knocks out viewers with his astute observations. (Getty Images)

You’ve got a great gig with Showtime and are the most knowledgeable and articulate commentator in boxing today…

Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England,  Sam “The Savage” Eggington (20-3, 12 KOs),  the former BBBofC British welterweight champion from Stourbridge, Worcestershire, United Kingdom, knocked out former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi (36-8, 7 KOs), the “Magic Man” from Brooklyn, New York, at 1:50 of round nine to win the WBC International welterweight title.

Having now lost four of his last eight fights dating back to 2013, with three of those losses coming by early stoppage, the KO loss to Eggington will hopefully be 36-year-old Malignaggi’s last hurrah.

Ceding advantages in age, height, reach, and weight, Malignaggi was unceremoniously bulled around the ring by his opponent. He had his moments in round three, but was eating punches at an alarming rate.

By the end of round five Paulie’s face had begun to swell from all the punishment he absorbed.

He caught Eggington with a big right hand at the end of the sixth and followed with several shots that landed. But Malignaggi’s lack of power, which has plagued him throughout his career and has only diminished as he has aged and moved up in weight, prevented the Brooklynite from finishing him off.

Eggington regained control of the fight in the seventh. In round eight he landed a big left hand shot to the body which dropped Malignaggi to the canvas where he was counted out.

“It was one of those body shots where it gets you perfectly,” Malignaggi told Sky Sports after the fight. “I was totally fine, but for about 15 seconds I just couldn’t breathe. It gets you perfectly. It’s a shame, because I wanted so badly to go out with a win in this arena.”

The writing is on the wall and hopefully Paulie sees it. The time for getting out while the getting is good has arrived, but that window will soon close. Boxing is a great sport, no doubt about it, but it is also a terrible business bordering at times on a criminal enterprise. You know better than most that promoters, even those who treat you like a son and whisper sweet nothings in your ear, will drop you in a second if they think they can no longer make money off your labors.

There are plenty of other promoters lower down on the food chain who will match you in with fighters they believe you can’t beat. They’ll secretly smirk at your ambition while egging you on. But to what end? Do you want to be a steppingstone? Do you want to be able to walk in a straight line? You don’t need to end up like Roy Jones, let alone like Sugar Ray Robinson. You well situated and can do better than that.

You’ve got a great gig with Showtime putting that gift of gab to work and are the most knowledgeable and articulate commentator in the sport today. When you are on the air you knock out viewers, intelligent viewers, with your astute observations. That’s more than enough for those of us who aren’t bloodthirsty, have a conscience, and want what’s best for you. Maybe, if you’re lucky, maybe if we’re lucky, that will be enough to hang ‘em up and call it a day before it’s too late.

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  1. Bill Angresano 11:28am, 03/09/2017

    Good and true article Robert Ecksel ! Despite his colorful ring demeanor , Paulie Malignaggi was the real thing. As a commentator in a class of his own.

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