KNOCKOUT NATION:Hatton Destroys Malignaggi, “Pretty Boy” Margarito Emerges, Haye, Alexis Arguello

Paulie

Malignaggi (25-2, 5 KOs) found his lack of power a fatal flaw this past

Saturday November 22 in Las Vegas, as junior welterweight champ Ricky

Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) overwhelmed the Brooklynite to a merciful 11th round TKO.

After

a feel out first round where Malignaggi attempted to enact Mayweather’s

successful counterpunch strategy from last December, Hatton badly hurt

Paulie with a pinpoint right on the chin in the second. Malignaggi’s

legs buckled and he nearly hit the canvas due to the champion

continuing to rain down hooks on the inside. However, Malignaggi’s

holding allowed him to make it out of a round that could’ve been scored

10-8 even without an official knockdown.

Many

times in these early rounds Malignaggi was forced to hold, since

Hatton’s footwork and punch slipping took away Paulie’s attempts to

create distance to work his best weapon, the jab.

Frustrated

by the constant pressure and a cut under his left eye, The Magic Man

complained of Hatton’s holding at the end of third.

Ironically it was Malignaggi himself who did most of the holding in a foul-filled 4th stanza. The wrestling still did not prevent Hatton from strafing the Brooklynite with hooks and piling up points.

Full of heart, Paulie made his best stand in the 5th and 6th

rounds. Although the former was mired by excessive holding, Malignaggi

for the first time was able to regularly pop Hatton with the jab and

prevent the mauling he had been receiving. In the latter stanza, all of

the #1 contender’s 17 landed punches were jabs, starting speculation

that Malignaggi had again hurt his right hand for the umpteenth time.

The champion was unfazed and went right back to work in the 7th.

The round began with 3 consecutive hard lefts from Hatton. Now hesitant

because of the firepower coming his way, Malignaggi maintained a

defense first mode for the remaining 2 minutes. He was further

discouraged as the normally hittable Hatton easily slipped a Malignaggi

left and again buckled the Brooklynite with a hard right hand.

In the 8th, Malignaggi continued getting a beatdown for amazingly standing in front of Hatton and trying to exchange hooks. By the 9th,

Malignaggi was desperately holding as he continued to get clipped with

power shots, prompting the HBO team to ponder how much more Malignaggi

could take.

Concerned

Malignaggi trainer Buddy McGirt gave his battered fighter an ultimatum:

stop standing in front of Hatton taking unnecessary punches or I’m

stopping the fight.

Nothing

changed in the final two rounds, and McGirt mercifully jumped into the

ring to wave the white flag stopping the contest with 28 seconds left

in the 11th.

Recording

his best win since his signature victory over Kostya Tszyu in 2005,

Hatton was gracious to both Malignaggi and new trainer Floyd

Mayweather, Sr in his post fight interview.

“The

best way to describe Paulie Malignaggi is to think about when you’re in

the buff and you’re trying to catch the soap…Paulie is a great fighter

but this felt like a comeback,” Hatton stated. “I enjoyed this fight

better than the last time (Vegas Mayweather fight). Me and Floyd Sr.

have only been together six, eight weeks. We showed glimpses of the

stuff we can do.  Paulie’s a lot tougher than he looks….I was a little

more patient. I was picking shots off a bit. I was moving me head a

little bit more. It can still get better.”

Malignaggi

was furious with trainer Buddy McGirt for stopping the fight, his ego

bruised now that he has a knockout loss on his ledger.

“I’m

better than this. Maybe I wasn’t going to beat him on points but I’m

better than being stopped,” he fumed. “Ricky fought a great fight, he’s

a terrific fighter, but this goes as a knockout on my record and it

shouldn’t be.”

Hatton’s

good showing puts him in line for the winner of December superfight

between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. No matter who wins, Hatton

would be guaranteed a huge payday should Floyd Mayweather, Jr stay

retired. And if Mayweather does steal away the fight, Hatton still has

good potential fights with the returning 140 pound version of Zab

Judah, Kendall Holt, or WBC champ Timothy Bradley.

Margarito-Mosley Set for January 24!

After

initially balking at career-high $2 million dollar payday, welterweight

champ Antonio Margarito has agreed to face Shane Mosley January 24 at

the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Margarito,

who has not fought since defeating Miguel Cotto in July, initially

turned down Mosley’s offer of a 50-50 split, arguing that he was the

bigger draw and deserved a higher percentage after years of struggling

to make a name.

“Mosley

is not [the] all to continue with my career,” Margarito told

fightnews.com. “De La Hoya didn’t keep his word, went around me, made

excuses, and in the end didn’t have the seriousness in his words. I am

doing exactly the same thing, so they can’t complain.”

Thankfully

the Mexican warrior came to his senses. He had to realize that besides

Mosley the options were slim, and he risked further squandering the

momentum and recognition he gained from making Miguel Cotto quit.

Also,

Margarito could not ignore the critics who labeled him a hypocrite for

engaging in the same type of behavior he hounded Floyd Mayweather for.

Now

with the fight signed, fans will be treated to a war to kick off the

New Year. And the winner will establish himself as the frontrunner for

the #1 fighter at welterweight not named Paul Williams. Unfortunately

for the Punisher, who fights at 154 lbs. this Saturday against Verno

Phillips, the winner will likely ignore him for a lucrative rematch

with Miguel Cotto.

Right

now the early favorite for this bout should be Margarito, whose size,

pressure, and iron chin will frustrate and grind down the older,

smaller Mosley in the later rounds. Although I wouldn’t rule out a

stoppage, Mosley’s heart and chin should be enough to see him to a

clear unanimous decision loss.

What do you think?Poll Answers

David Haye Passes Heavyweight Debut

Cruiserweight

champ David Haye (22-1, 21 KOs) made a successful transition to

heavyweight on November 15, as the cocky UK fighter battered contender

Monte Barrett (34-7, 20 KOs) in route to a 5th round stoppage.

An

omen happened during Barrett’s ring entrance, when the American tripped

and fell flat in the ring after attempting to leapfrog over the top

rope.

After

a feel out first round, Barrett went to work in the second. He carried

the round with a flush overhand right and two hard lefts. Haye took the

shots well, perhaps reassuring some critics who were skeptical of how

his chin would hold up at heavyweight.

In

the third, Haye exploded with a huge left hook that dropped Barrett. 

The end of the round proved no better as Haye again floored the

American, this time with a surgical right uppercut. With Barrett in

trouble, only the bell saved the tough journeyman from a possible early

stoppage.

Round

four compounded Barrett’s problems. An apparent slip was ruled a

questionable knockdown, since Haye had grazed him with a hook before

the fall. Later in round, Barrett fell victim to a fourth and very real

knockdown, courtesy of a right hook.

In

the deciding round, Haye hits the canvas from a slip but while down was

cracked with a left hook to the side of the head. This prompted referee

Richie Davis to deduct a point from Barrett.

Unfazed,

Haye immediately regrouped and finished off Barrett with an impressive

left-right-left hook combination for a decisive 5th knockdown to end

the fight with 1:28 remaining.

Newly

crowned WBC champ Vitali Klitschko watched the fight from ringside, no

doubt scouting Haye as a potential opponent for his brother.

This

is the first time in YEARS that there has been any real interest in the

heavyweight division. Although it remains to be seen if Haye can

withstand a clean punch from a towering Klitschko, his boldness and

cocksure attitude is exactly what the division needs.

Jones-Calzaghe PPV Numbers Underwhelm

Reports have circulated that the PPV numbers for the Jones-Calzaghe fight have fallen way short of expectations.

According

to Doghouse Boxing, the yet to be officially released figures show the

card did below 225,000, well short of the 500,000 amount HBO expected.

While

I’m sure those involved will try to place blame on the economy, this

should be a clear sign that the multitude of PPV cards is not what the

public wants. And with Showtime and HBO cutting back their boxing

schedules next year, let’s hope this pushes the networks to make more

meaningful bouts and less “showcase” bouts.

Taylor Outboxes Lacy

Former

middleweight champ Jermain Taylor (28-2-1, 17 KOs) secured his first

win since May 2007 after thoroughly outpointing a listless Jeff Lacy

(24-2, 17 KOs) to a decisive unanimous decision on November 15.

Taylor,

making his debut in the super-middleweight division, kept Lacy on the

outside throughout the bout with a stiff jab and jarring uppercut

whenever “Left Hook” would lunge forward.

That

pattern gave Taylor the first four rounds comfortably, and on several

occasions Lacy was forced to hold after being stunned by straight and

overhand rights.

The

5th round caused a brief scare for Taylor. The Arkansas native was

dropped by a clubbing right hand that was ruled a slip. However, Taylor

went into a defensive shell and allowed Lacy’s erratic pressure to

carry the round.

For

the rest of the fight, Lacy could not find an answer for Taylor’s jab,

and fought against his strengths by spending long stretches on the

outside attempting to box.

Lacy’s

inside game remained mostly unsuccessful. Whenever the Florida native

made attempts, he would push his punches forward leaving himself

vulnerable to uppercuts when Taylor took a step back, or careening into

Taylor when he didn’t which smothered Lacy’s punches.

Scores for bout were all for Taylor: 118-110 and 119-109 (twice).

Supposedly,

Taylor’s promoter Lou DiBella is banking on a Calzaghe showdown now

that “Bad Intentions” is back on the winning track, or possibly the

winner of the WBC title bout next month between Carl Froch and Jean

Pascal (Taylor will be the mandatory challenger for the winner).

Unless

Calzaghe is looking for a freebie in his final bout, Jermain Taylor

should be put nowhere near the recognized super-middleweight and

light-heavyweight champ. The Froch-Pascal winner is the best bet for

Taylor, or if he’s feeling ambitious Mikkel Kessler.

For

Lacy, his options are now limited outside of ESPN or Versus cards. In

order to get some name recognition, he may want to consider a fight

with the dangerous, iron-chin contender Librado Andrade.

Throwback Fighter of the Week: Alexis “Explosive Thin Man” Arguello

Multi-division

champion Alexis Arguello was one of the lighter weight fighters that

helped carry boxing during the late 70s and early 80s.

The

Nicaraguan started his career in 1971 at featherweight. After a 3 year

span of brutal KOs, he lost his first title shot by decision to

experienced veteran and WBA featherweight champ Ernesto Marcel. But due

to Marcel’s immediate retirement, Arguello secured another title shot

later in the year.

Not wasting the 2nd

opportunity, Arguello won the title by stopping Ruben Olivares in 13

rounds. He defended the title three times, winning all of them by

knockout.

In

1978, he moved up to super-featherweight and battered tough Alfredo

Escalera, flooring him in the second and stopping him on cuts in 13

rounds to win the WBC super-featherweight title.

Although

he dropped a close non-title decision to Vilomar Fernandez in 1978, he

defended the title six times, winning all by knockout including a

memorable brawl with Hall of Famer Bobby Chacon.

Moving

up for a third time in 1981, Arguello knocked out WBC lightweight champ

Jim Watt, and KO’d an undefeated Ray Mancini in 13 rounds in his first

defense. He defended the title three more times all by KO before

attempting to be the first man in history to win titles in four weight

classes. The one man that stood in his way was WBA 140 pound champ

Aaron Pryor.

In

their first classic brawl in 1982, Arguello struggled to keep the

relentless Pryor off him. The champ walked through everything Arguello

threw, and eventually the challenger succumbed to a brutal barrage of

hooks against the ropes to lose by TKO in the 14th.

However,

the bout was marred on controversy due to Pryor’s manager trainer

Panama Lewis using a mysterious black bottle that had an unverified

mixed substance. Pryor did not provide a post-fight urine sample, which

lead to a 1983 rematch.

The

rematch saw Pryor beat Arguello worse, dropping him in the first round

and again for good in the 10th. Although Arguello was lucid after the

last knockdown, he stayed down knowing he could not hurt Pryor at this

weight and the contest was hopeless.

From 1984 on, Arguello fought sporadically for financial reasons before retiring for good in 1995 and becoming a politician.

He is a second Latin-American fighter to win titles in three weight

classes and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.

Alexis Arguello’s final record stands at 82-8, 65 KOs.

vs. Escalera

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