Junior welterweight contender Paulie Malignaggi is set to take on lightweight contender Juan Diaz in a 138.5-pound catchweight bout this Saturday. And while Malignaggi says he's confident, he contacted BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno to give a long list of his gripes with the bout.
- The weight, he says, is ridiculous. Many agree.
- He expected to get a better purse considering he's fighting on Diaz's home field in Houston. Of course, one might argue that Houston was really the only place this fight was going to draw a crowd.
- He feels that Golden Boy is stacking the deck with biased officials. Richard Schaefer promised neutral officials, and Malignaggi feels that promise was not kept. About the officials: "You have Gale Van Hoy, a judge from Texas who scored the Chris John-Rocky Juarez fight a draw. Then you have Raul Caiz, a Mexican judge from California who is anything but neutral. Looking at the fights Caiz has judged in the past, he is far from neutral when it comes to Golden Boy and Mexican fighters. The referee is Laurence Cole and all you have to do is look him up to see his past. Then they had a judge from Las Vegas, and we didn't have a problem with her, so they go and change the judge to some from Oklahoma that I've never even heard of."
When Malignaggi puts the officiating that way, it is very easy to see his issues. Cole is an atrocious referee and, on paper, the judges certainly seem to favor Diaz. At the same time, it's like Malignaggi is giving himself excuses before the fight even comes. He may genuinely feel he's been wronged through this whole process, and he says he's speaking up so he's not like everyone that just keeps their mouth shut. But it's hard to not think there's an ulterior motive.