Yes, Juan Diaz really did win.

He really did.  I wasn't convinced on fight night.  On fight night, I scored the fight a draw.  But here is my "Sunday morning" card.

R1 Malignaggi 10-9
R2 Diaz 10-9
R3 Malignaggi 10-9
R4 Diaz 10-9
R5 Diaz 10-9
R6 Diaz 10-9
R7 Diaz 10-9
R8 Diaz 10-9
R9 Malignaggi 10-9
R10 Malignaggi 10-9
R11 Malignaggi 10-9
R12 Diaz 10-9

Diaz 115-113

I would be pretty shocked if Raul Caiz didn't have this exact card.  I'm convinced that it's not only a credible card, but the correct one.  On review, the most difficult rounds to score  were rounds 6 and 9.  Rounds 7 and 8 were in the bag for Juan.  He outlanded Paulie in both, and had twice as many power connects.  My opinions about round 6 (for Diaz) and round 9 (for Malignaggi) haven't changed at all between viewings, but my round 8 is completely different.  I missed much of the round, and relied on some RBR commentary to hand the round to Paulie.  This turned out to be a major error when I saw the full round on Sunday

In fact, it seems to me Diaz really won the fight based on the strength of rounds 6, 7 and 8, with Paulie falling off his timing, and Juan shoveling his way inside with meaningful right hooks to the body and left hooks upstairs.  Paulie threw a ton of jabs in these rounds, but missed about  80-85% of what he threw, often only finding Juan's gloves.  Juan had the better of most of their slashing exchanges, and Paulie didn't look very much in control fighting off the back foot in those rounds... he was less a matador then he was a Pamplona runner.

Paulie very clearly won rounds 1, 3 and 11.  Diaz very clearly won rounds 2, 4, 5, and 7.   I'd be surprised if these rounds weren't universal on everyone's scorecards.  Paulie probably won the close rounds 9 and 10, while Diaz probably won a close round 12 and round 8, which on review was less close.  Round 6 was very close, and really very subjective.  But it's worth noting that even though Paulie outlanded Juan 20-18, all but two of Juan's connects were power punches, while more than half of Paulie's were jabs. 

Caiz's 115-113 card is probably identical to mine.  David Sutherland's 116-112 is, for me, a stretch.  I would guess that, in addition to 6,7 and 8, Sutherland probably gave Diaz either the 9th or the 10th.  Then again, considering Sutherland's bizarre 100-89 account of the Daniel Jacobs - Ishe Smith fight, who really knows what his actual rounds looked like.  They could have been written in crayon, for all I know.  But I suppose it's still a credible "score", depending on what you were looking for generally. 

On the other hand, we have Gale Van Hoy's masterpiece of science fiction.  I would bet that rounds 1 and 3 were the only rounds that Van Hoy gave to Paulie, which is simply an impossible score for me to reach, even after three very forgiving reviews.   118-110 would require someone to completely ignore the 11th round, and to lend so much weight to Juan's unfocused aggression in rounds 9 and 10 that it would constitute a feat of fistic alchemy.  Boxing isn't "full of shit," like Paulie claims, but Van Hoy's card is most definitely full of shit.  It stinks.  It's a joke and, frankly, a crime. 

But Diaz still won the fight.



I've heard some continued talk about Paulie having "controlled the fight" with his jab, so I figured I would go ahead and address it below the jump, if anyone cares to read it:

A good jab is a utility punch that can be used for all kinds of things. It can be used for disrupting your opponent’s timing, measuring distance, setting up combinations, as blinding cover for a right cross, as a wedge to pry open a cut... some boxers are even able to use the jab as a formidable weapon all it’s own.

But if you are mainly using the jab to short circuit an opponent's offense, then it  had better do exactly that. In the case of the middle rounds against Diaz, it didn’t.  For instance, Paulie landed 11 jabs in the close sixth round, but Juan was still able to come in 16 times and land power punches on Paulie. So basically… it didn’t work!  Trading 11 jabs for 16 power punches is not a good trade-off, unless you are able to also land power punches of your own (he wasn’t; Paulie only landed 9).  So even if those numbers were closer, it still wouldn’t qualify as having stopped Juan's game plan. Getting inside to land hooks was exactly what Juan was trying to do, and Paulie generally wasn’t able to stop him from doing that.

This trend continued through round seven and round eight. In round seven, Diaz outlanded Malignaggi 18-15 (not even counting the inside rough stuff). There Paulie landed 9 jabs in an unsuccessful effort to disrupt and fend off 13 power punches from Juan… again, this is a bad trade!   For his part, Paulie landed 6 of his own power shots in that round while Juan hit him with 5 jabs. So who exactly was imposing his will in that round? 

Round eight was closer… Paulie connected with 9 jabs versus 9 power punches from Juan.  But, to quote an old boxing coach: "If I give you five nickels and you give me five dimes, who's richer?"  Meanwhile, Juan landed 7 jabs of his own compared to 5 power connects from Paulie.  In a way, you could even say that Juan had the more effective jab in that round, because he once again was able to land more and bigger punches while limiting Paulie’s own power punch production. In all three of these rounds, Juan was more accurate and more effective at doing what he wanted to do, which was getting to Paulie with left and right hooks.

I think rounds 6, 7 and 8 are the most misunderstood rounds of this fight. Paulie threw a blizzard of jabs to try to keep Juan off of him, but he 1) missed most of what he threw and 2) wasn’t able to stop Juan from getting in anyway.


P.S.  If you're going to participate in the poll, how about including your own round card below?

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