Brooklyn will have a turf war coming on December 7, as hometown fighters Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah have agreed to terms for a fight at the Barclays Center, to be televised by Showtime. Both veteran fighters are coming off of losses, but the bout should attract some good interest in New York, where each has a real fanbase.
Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO) lost on June 22 against Adrien Broner in a very competitive fight, with some even feeling he'd deserved the win. The 32-year-old former 140 and 147-pound titleholder has said he's comfortable retiring from the sport if he doesn't get good fights for good money, but this one apparently meets those standards.
Judah (42-8, 29 KO) signed with Golden Boy earlier this year and got a fight against Danny Garcia in April, where he lost clearly, but showed more grit than he's been known for in the past. Judah will turn 36 later this month, but still has the physical tools to be a solid contender, and even win another world title if he gets the "right" fight. He'll be moving back up to welterweight for this bout, and like Malignaggi, has held titles there and at 140 in the past.
Malignaggi told BoxingScene.com that this is a fight for pride:
"This is a fight with two fighters from Brooklyn, who made their legacies and their names from Brooklyn, two former world champions and we'll see who is the best Brooklyn fighter of this generation. It's for bragging rights, respect."
The fight has been criticized by some, especially as a Showtime main event, but I actually quite like this one. There should be a good atmosphere, both of these guys will talk a little, and I expect them to bring serious effort for the hometown battle.
One possible undercard bout is a welterweight matchup between Keith Thurman and Jesus Soto Karass, which could be a very entertaining fight if it's made.