For the IBF Junior Welterweight Title
(23-1, 5 KO, Brooklyn, NY)
(16-1, 9 KO, Montreal, Quebec, Canada by way of Douala, Cameroon)
The first cable card of 2008 is a one-fight show on Showtime, the network looking to rebound from a putrid year that featured two of the best fights of the year, one stunning upset, and, well, that about covers it all.
Malignaggi is the heavy favorite, as Ngoudjo is still very inexperienced. Given the fact that Paulie's been fighting top-level opponents for a couple of years now, he's got miles of experience points on Ngoudjo, who fought an old Jose Luis Castillo last year, losing tight, and then beat Randall Bailey in the summer, looking positively average in the process, if you ask me.
Can he keep up with Paulie's hand speed and technical skill? I very much doubt it. I think we're looking at Malignaggi's third straight landslide decision win, after he smoked Edner Cherry and Lovemore N'dou in '07. This could also set up a fight between Malignaggi and Ricky Hatton, so Paulie really needs to look sharp and make some waves.
We'll be here with round-by-round scoring and analysis of the fight, starting at 9pm eastern.