Paulie Malignaggi thought his crafty boxing could give Shawn Porter problems. Porter felt his power and more physical approach would win the fight. One was right. It was Shawn Porter.
Porter (24-0-1, 15 KO) completely overwhelmed Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KO) tonight in Washington, DC, stopping the veteran two-weight titlist at 1:14 of the fourth round after brutally dominating him in the second and third rounds. The 26-year-old Porter dropped Malignaggi early in the fourth round, then poured the pressure on looking for the finish. Porter retained his IBF welterweight title with the iwn.
He got it, unleashing a barrage of punches and knocking Malignaggi, 33, through the ropes for the finish. It was an A+ performance that impressed in every way against a legitimate opponent and contender, one who went about dead even with the far more heavily-hyped Adrien Broner last summer, and clearly beat Zab Judah in December.
Malignaggi told Jim Gray after the bout, "I told him, don't make me have lost to an average fighter. Go be great, so that I can say a really great fighter beat me. I know Shawn has that potential to be great. I told him to go be great, so that if I do retire right now -- I'm not sure, I don't want to make an emotional decision -- but I don't wanna do it off of losing to an average champion. I want to do it off of losing to a great champion.
"So I told Shawn, go do what he's capable of, go do what he works hard for, go be great, so that I can say if this is my last fight, I lost to a great champion."
Paulie continued, "I couldn't get going. He was mixing it up. He'd go away for a little bit, then he'd go on the attack. I thought he was going to bring constant pressure, try to wear him down, because the whole knock on me is Paulie Malignaggi can't punch. So I figured he's going to come right at me, but he mixed it up well."
Porter's next fight is contractually obligated to be against Kell Brook, and the due date for that fight is July 19. Both fighters agreed to that stipulation in order to make this fight. Based on what we saw tonight, Porter will be ready, since he took no damage in this bout and could do a quick turnaround, but we'll see what happens. We know he'll want to keep his belt, so the only thing that could stop the fight would be Brook's team backing out of it now.