The big fight night in Brooklyn headlined by Malignaggi vs. Judah certainly produced exciting results, combining tough and exciting action with surprising results. Frankly, that is what any boxing fan should look for in a fight card. However, with four bouts feature top flight match-ups, Saturday’s verdicts produced ripples that will be felt throughout the middle weight classes of the sport. From 140 to 168, Saturday’s outcomes in what was one of the last big fight cards of 2013 will impact well into the coming year.
Also See: Judah vs. Malignaggi Fight Night Photos
Malignaggi Goes On, Judah Falls Out
Paulie Malignaggi did more than just crown himself as the King of Brooklyn on Saturday night. He also revived his career, because in beating Judah and grabbing the NABF belt, the Magic Man set the stage for another run at a world title. Because the NABF is the North American regional title for the WBC, Malignaggi might find himself named the #1 contender for a shot at either Floyd Mayweather (the WBC regular champ) or Robert Guerrero (its interim champ). Either way, the loss to Adrien Broner is now mitigated.
Zab Judah, on the other hand, has to ask if he shouldn’t hang the gloves up or not. Favored in his clash with Malignaggi, Judah was unable to put his assets together and was decisively out-slicked by Malignaggi. He is now 1-3 in his last four outings, having lost all three of the fights that were against name opponents. If he can’t beat Amir Khan, can’t beat Danny Garcia, and can’t beat Malignaggi, then Judah is effectively demoted from contender to gatekeeper status.
Porter Makes His Presence Felt
When I sized up Porter vs. Alexander, I thought Alexander would win based on the notion that while Porter ostensibly had good ability, he had struggled with a shopworn Julio Diaz. In upsetting Devon Alexander and snatching his title, the undefeated “Showtime” told everyone he is for real and that the welterweight Top 10 had a new face to contend with (most likely replacing Judah, for aforementioned reasons).
Stop Asking Questions About Lara
A few years ago, Erislandy Lara was supposed to become the next big thing at 154 lbs. The opinion that he had been robbed by Paul Williams in 2011 was nearly universal, and the Cuban looked set to rule the division. Then he struggled with Carlos Molina, Vanes Martirosyan, and Alfredo Angulo. Flubbing it for one night happens, but when you flub it for a couple of years people start to wonder, and the best that could be said for Lara was that he wasn’t losing. Dominating Austin Trout turns that around.
Dirrell Has Eerily Familiar Experience
When confronted by Anthony Dirrell’s speed and power, Sakio Bika responded in much the same way Carl Froch did to “The Dog’s” brother Andre: he got rough. The difference is that for Bika, getting rough is part of his standard arsenal. I predicted as much, and once Bika got ugly, he took over the fight. Nevertheless, Anthony didn’t wilt under pressure. He didn’t adjust very well to Bika’s aggression, it is true, but he didn’t fold up like a card table either.
Since Bika is arguably the most underrated and avoided fighter in all of boxing right now, Dirrell’s ability to draw him in his first big outing says he is very much for real, and should only improve from here on out. Bika, on the other hand, kept his title, and that means he can’t be so easily avoided.