The Saturday fight card at Barclays Center is straight-up loaded with talent. I can't guarantee that every bout will be a classic, but I will say that the number of champions, ex-champions, contenders and potential future stars is considerable, and should reward anyone who attends, or watches the card on Showtime, with good bang for their buck.
Which fighters might steal the show, might separate themselves from the pack? I think the Paul Malignaggi-Pablo Cano scrap could be a show-stealer, because it is the sort of style matchup that could mesh well from a fan's perspective.
Brooklyn's Malignaggi (31-4) is a slick boxer, someone who embraces the "sweet science" aspect of the sport. His challenger, Pablo Cano (25-1-1), is more of a banger, someone who relies more on his power to excel. The Mexican Cano, who turned 23 on October 4, has 19 KOs in 27 outings, so Malignaggi will have to be mindful of not getting caught by the kid. Cano does possess boxing skills, as he he showed in his debut on the big stage -- when he took a fight with Erik Morales at the 11th hour and had his moments before getting stopped, on the advice of his own corner, in round 10 of that Sept. 17, 2011 bout.
We can see Malignaggi peppering Cano. He has been showing more power of his own lately, probably stemming from the fact that his hands are not hurting him as much (they are staying intact during fights, as opposed to fracturing, as they did earlier in his career). We can see Malignaggi lumping up Cano's eyes, as Morales did, and getting a stoppage win, though he has just 7 KOs in 35 outings.
Cano, though, disagrees. He and his team -- which includes manager Rolando Arellano, translating in the accompanying video -- think he is stronger, more seasoned, and ready to wrest Malignaggi's WBA welterweight crown from him Saturday night.
"I'm a Mexican warrior," Cano told me. "You're going to see a war in that ring."
We will see who is right, and who is wrong, on Saturday night.