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Juan Diaz balks, rematch with Malignaggi won't happen

Ain't gon' be no rematch: Juan Diaz has decided to pass on a second fight with Paulie Malignaggi in December. Malignaggi is furious.
Ain't gon' be no rematch: Juan Diaz has decided to pass on a second fight with Paulie Malignaggi in December. Malignaggi is furious.'s Rick Reeno reports that the proposed, negotiated, and discussed rematch between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi is "a dead issue":

The two main issues were the money and the weight. From what I was able to find out, Diaz was going to make a little less than what he had earned for the August fight with Malignaggi. He wanted to make more. The problem with making more money is the date of the event. The fight falls at the end of the year and there is only so much money left in HBO's budget. They were not happy about the proposed weight of 140-pounds. They wanted the fight to take place at 138.5; the same catch-weight as the August bout.

You can't really blame Juan; given that the fight was a hit and was then the buzz of the boxing world for a week or two after, he understandably wanted more money for a rematch. And you also can't blame him for not wanting to fight Malignaggi and Paulie's best weight, 140 pounds. Diaz is a lightweight, Malignaggi is not. Diaz already gives up significant height and reach against Paulie, getting a catchweight was his way of trying to neutralize that to some degree.

Malignaggi, though, is livid. And I mean livid:

"We tried everything we could to make the rematch. They f***ed me the first time and they tried to f**k me the second time. They tried everything in their power not to make it happen. They never wanted the rematch. Every time we solved one problem, they came back with another problem. F**k [Diaz's manager] Willie Savannah. F**k Juan Diaz. They could suck my d**k. They are going to sit on the f***ing shelf. Nobody gives a f**k about watching Juan Diaz fight. Fighters get punched in the face for a living. Well this kid really gets punched in the face for a living. Nate Campbell beat the s**t out of him. Marquez beat the s**t out of him and then I beat the s**t out of him."

"... Nobody thinks he beat me. Nobody. I'm sick and tired of all the bulls**t that I have to deal with in boxing. He never had any intention of making the rematch. They tried everything to make it a f***ing mismatch in the first fight and tried everything to win - and they still had to rob me. F**k them. We'll see how far he goes. He makes exciting fights but he gets his ass beat. At some point you have to win. They put us in the ring on equal terms and I will beat the f***ing brakes off of this kid. If he was a man, he would tell his manager to make this fight. He will still get his ass beat but at least he can collect one last payday and then he can go become a lawyer or whatever the f**k he wants to do."

Malignaggi's flip-out here is entertaining to read and all, but again, if the problems were money and weight, those are honest reasons for Diaz to not take this fight on December 12. Maybe there's more money in it sometime in early 2010. Maybe there's not. Maybe Juan really doesn't want to fight Paulie again, but I kind of doubt that's the case. Say what you will about Juan Diaz, but he's never ducked anyone.

And all due respect, but "at some point you have to win" could easily apply to Paulie, too. What are his three best-known fights? Diaz, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. All losses, two of them clear as day.

I do hope Paulie gets a good fight, even if he doesn't get a Diaz rematch, because he deserves it. He came back from some really bad performances in 2008 to surprise a lot of folks with how well he performed against Diaz, and he always fights with his heart on his sleeve. He's got a ton of guts, has one of the best chins out there, and has a lot of skills.

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