The Battle of Brooklyn disappointed if you're a Zab Judah supporter, but it was quite a night for Paulie Malignaggi and his fans, as Malignaggi dominated en route to an unanimous decision win on scores of 116-111, 117-110, and 117-110. BLH had it even wider at 119-109.
Judah (42-9, 29 KO) looked incredibly tentative and gun-shy, just not able to pull the trigger or get off with anything or find any rhythm, and may have had the worst night of his long, memorable career -- and probably has finally reached the end of his road as a headline fighter at age 36.
Malignaggi, 33, was just better in there, giving Judah a boxing lesson, outworking him, beating him to the punch, and he was the aggressor, too, saying after the fight to Showtime's Jim Gray that he aimed to make Judah fight off the back foot, feeling that was a weakness for Zab. It proved out tonight at the Barclays Center.
Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KO) probably did fight his way back into the 147-pound world title mix with this victory, because it was thorough and 100% clear who the better man was in the ring. Whether or not he gets the winner of next weekend's Broner-Maidana fight, as he desires, is another question, but if Broner wins, there has to be at least some interest in a Broner-Malignaggi rematch. There was plenty of doubt after their first bout, and Paulie went out and won big in this one.
Judah did score an official knockdown in round two, but it was mostly caused by the legs of the fighters becoming tangled. It wasn't necessarily a bad call by the referee, though, as it was one that he just wasn't in position to see perfectly. It was a tough call and the ref made the one that he actually saw.
Do you expect that this is it for Judah as a main event fighter at this level? And does Paulie have one last title run left in him at 33?