Welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi has been all over the fight week buildup for Saturday's Canelo Alvarez-Austin Trout clash, hosting the public workout in front of the Alamo on Wednesday and talking with fans and media at Friday's sun-drenched weigh-in in downtown Market Square. He's in San Antonio, of course, in his capacity as expert analyst for the Showtime broadcast, and accordingly he has been giving some thought to the possible ebbs and flows of tomorrow's bout.
"Well, I think for Canelo it's important to try and work his way inside, so he's able to throw hooks inside to the body," Malignaggi told ESPN.com. "I think Canelo has faster hands, but Trout is a tricky guy -- very slick, very slippery, he's very crafty. The trick will be, will Trout's craftiness disallow Canelo from getting inside to work? Because if Canelo can get close enough, his fast hands could cause problems for Trout. But Trout is very shifty, and if Trout doesn't let Canelo get in punching range, it could be a long night for Canelo."
"So it's one way or the other, depending on who had the best preparation and who can match up that distance better," he said. "Because if Trout can be the master of the distance, it's Trout's fight. If Canelo starts to get close to him, it's Canelo's night. It goes down to who's mastering their game plan better. It seems Trout has the better feet, but Canelo has the faster hands. It's tricky to predict."
"The Magic Man" doesn't think Saturday's fight will necessarily be the sort that offers an immediately apparent outcome. Even if one man begins in the ascendant, he argues, fans shouldn't be surprised if the advantage changes hands frequently over the course of the contest.
"I think it's back-and-forth," he said. "I think we're going to see a lot of momentum changes. I think it's going to be a good fight. I think it's going to be an entertaining fight."
Malignaggi will be ringside again next week, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for Danny Garcia's junior welterweight title defense against Zab Judah. But he'll be there not only as an analyst but also as a participant in a media conference to officially announce his June 22 matchup, at the same venue, with lightweight titleholder and fellow pound-for-pound trash-talker Adrien Broner.
"Yes, yes," he confirmed. "It's signed, sealed and delivered. It's going to be cool. Absolutely, man, it's my house, so we'll give him a big welcome."