Paulie Malignaggi, the former two-division titleholder turned expert analyst for Showtime boxing broadcasts, is out at Showtime, having been let go due to controversial comments made in an iFL TV interview in April.
Mike Coppinger reports that the 39-year-old Malignaggi will be replaced on Saturday’s Showtime broadcast by Abner Mares, who has done some broadcast work with FOX before, but it’s not clear if Mares will stick in the role long-term, as he hopes to fight again, which wouldn’t necessarily preclude him from keeping the gig, but he might not want to put in that much focus in his life on broadcasting right now.
Either way, Malignaggi is out. The comments he made in April stemmed partially from comments made by Devin Haney around that time, which most people have already either forgiven or mostly forgotten.
If you’re curious about what Malignaggi said in April, you can listen to the interview here, but here’s what one would guess is the key statement Malignaggi made. It came after a long bit about “dominant species” over the years in boxing — the Irish 100 years ago, the Italians and Jews later, the African-Americans in the 70s-90s, and today the Eastern Europeans, he feels — but this is surely where he got himself into trouble:
“I try not to join into the race conversations because this is one of the exact examples of why I don’t believe there is racial oppression in 2020, in this century. I believe there has been, sure, but I don’t believe there is any racial oppression today, I believe it’s all made up and it’s exaggerated. This is exactly one of the reasons why, the fact that a black fighter can say that and not pay any price, but if a white fighter said that about a black fighter, he’d probably lose his TV contract, and probably TV networks wouldn’t touch him. I won’t tell you that it’s a double standard, but I’ll tell you that it does prove that the entire whole hypothesis of racial oppression is way above exaggerated in this century.”