By Craig Pearson on April 17, 2014
Paulie ''Magic Man'' Malignaggi fights ''Showtime'' Shawn Porter this Saturday night in an attempt to win the third world title of his career. The fight will be for Porter's IBF title and it represents an opportunity not only to reclaim a belt, but also for Malignaggi to put his name into the mix for the very biggest fights in the division. He first has to win this fight though, and there are plenty of reasons to believe he will.
Malignaggi has a fantastic chin, and it has helped him in his career. His defensive ability means he doesn't need to rely on it as much as some fighters would, but when he needs to, he knows he can. In this fight, where Porter will attempt to be physical and impose himself on Malignaggi, it could be another night where he has to withstand a big punch or two, which is exactly what he'll do.
Malignaggi has always flowed well when throwing in combination. Now in the later years of his career, his work rate seems to have gone up and he throws more combinations now than he did when he was younger. He has fast hands and when he does throw multiple punch combinations, as long as he doesn't sit too long, he usually has good success and it serves him well for when he inevitably goes to the scorecards.
When Malignaggi is not in the ring dodging punches himself, he's ringside talking about them as an analyst for Showtime. Malignaggi clearly has a high boxing IQ and whenever it is he sits down to draw up a game plan for Porter, you have to believe it will be a good one. He also has the ability to make adjustments during the fight, which is something we don't know about Porter just yet, but something we could be about to find out.
In this fight, Porter is going to attempt to get inside of Malignaggi's jab and work at close range. The key to the entire fight will be whether Malignaggi is still sharp enough on his feet to keep a comfortable distance to control the fight with his jab. He won't be able to do it all of the time, but as long he does it enough to win any given round, Malignaggi will give himself a big, big chance to win the fight.
Malignaggi holds all of the experience heading into this fight. It will be Malignaggi's ninth world title fight and only Porter's second, after he won the title against Devon Alexander his last time out. Not only does Malignaggi have all the physical and mental tools that he needs to win the fight, but he also has all the experience necessary to carry the job through and claim the third world title of his career.
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