Maybe the happiest man in Brooklyn on Saturday night was at the Barclays Center, and no, it wasn’t one of the fighters. It was advisor to fighters, Anthony Catanzaro, who was finally able to exhale and allow himself a deep grin when Paul Malignaggi made it 3-for-3. Malignaggi won the Battle of Brooklyn, proving Bensonhurst had the goods over Brownsville, as his ring generalship and zippy jab confounded Zab Judah, and gave Malignaggi a UD12 win.
NYFightblog chatted with Catanzaro on Monday and asked him to offer insights into Paulie’s win, as well as those of his other two scrappers, Matthew Macklin (who beat Lamar Russ via UD10 in Atlantic City) and Sadam Ali (who stopped Jesus Selig in Round 2 at Barclays).
Catanzaro wanted to first and foremost emphasize that Malignaggi deserves full credit for the win, and he doesn’t want critics to overplay what role age might have played in Judah’s timid effort. “Paulie had the perfect distance and timed Zab to perfection,” the advisor said. “He painted a masterpiece and he needed to because Zab has KO power in both hands coming forward. I don’t want to hear that Zab was flat, simply because in his last fight, against Danny Garcia, he came on late. This was about what a world-class athlete, Paulie, did in taking away Zab’s arsenal.”
Macklin got a B+ from his advisor.
“It’s hard to look good against a guy (Russ) who’s trying to survive,” he said. A rematch with Felix Sturm is a no-brainer, considering they fought a few years ago, and many thought Macklin deserved the nod that was given to Sturm, who just gained the WBA middleweight crown Saturday with a win over Darren Barker. “Also, a fight against WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin makes sense,” he said. “Both will sell well, will be TV friendly and will give Matt an opportunity at a title ... and this time he’ll win. Also, Sadam put on a clinic, shook off the rust and got a KO.”
As for Malignaggi’s next, he has his sights set on Adrien Broner in a rematch of their June clash, a clash taken by the mouthy Mayweather act-a-like. Scouting that is a given, as Malignaggi will be ringside, working the analyst chair for Showtime Saturday as Broner tangles with Marcos Maidana, a heavy-handed but slow-footed challenger, in San Antonio.
“But, we’ll listen to all offers,” said Catanzaro, taking off his promoter hat in exchange for his advisor cap.
Readers, play matchmaker; who'd you like to see Malignaggi fight? One name that popped up late Saturday was 140 pound champ Danny Garcia, coming up to 147, to see if he can handle the tactics and smarts of the Brooklyner. Weigh in!