Any fight that features Paulie Malignaggi is going to have an entertaining, if sometimes odd, build-up. He and Adrien Broner going back and forth about "sidepieces" and what not was either funny or off-putting depending on one's point of view, but it was interesting, to say the least. Paulie has never been one to shy away from a microphone or back down from a debate. It isn't in his DNA and it's also helped to make him a pretty good analyst for Showtime's Championship Boxing show.
Yesterday, during a conference call, Paulie was at it again. When the subject of Shawn Porter's experience of sparring with Manny Pacquiao in 2011 came up, Paulie dismissed it out of hand.
"Shawn Porter showed that he was a force to be reckoned with when he beat Devon Alexander. All of that other bullshit about sparring with Manny Pacquiao and all of that, I don't rate Manny Pacquiao as a very good fighter. I don't rate him as a very intelligent fighter, actually, so all of that other bullshit about the sparring and all of that, to me, that goes in one ear and out the other."
When I first noticed that Paulie had ripped Porter's sparring with Pacquiao, I thought he was going to point out the wildly different fighting styles he and Pacquiao employ. Pacquiao is an aggressive, power-punching southpaw, Paulie a feather-fisted, orthodox boxer. But that's not where he was going with this at all, and instead says that Pacquiao isn't a very good fighter.
It's no secret that Pacquiao has slipped over the past few years, but this seems odd for Paulie to say. If Pacquiao, one of the best boxers of the past 25 years, isn't very good then I'm not sure what that would make Paulie.
Also, about the intelligent comment. I think it's become a stereotype in boxing that aggressive fighters aren't intelligent because they aren't using the "sweet science" and don't have "skill", which I find to be just plain dumb. We always hear that men like Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson were one-dimensional fighters who couldn't change their style. And, you know what, they were one-dimensional. But they're not any more one-dimensional than guys like Paulie Malignaggi, Ivan Calderon, or even Juan Manuel Marquez. It's just that they don't use the same dimension.
Anyways, that's my mini-rant for the day. I will say that being in the ring with Pacquiao probably will do very little to prepare Porter for Paulie because of the difference in styles. I think it's an interesting matchup because Paulie has proven over the last year to have more left in the tank than originally thought. And Porter may be on the brink of being with the elite, top-tier of welterweights.