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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Analyst Malignaggi talks Berto vs. Soto Karass

By Michael Woods

Paul Malignaggi is enjoying the freedom that comes with not having to monitor every calorie that enters his orbit, if not the sting that remains from being on the short end of a split decision, which came June 22 at Barclays Center against Adrien Broner.

Malignaggi, 32, chomped pizza at his adviser Anthony Catanzaro's pizza place in lower Manhattan on Monday, and chatted with NYFightblog about his near future. Beyond unfettered bites of pizza and munchkin doughnuts, the fighter said he isn't thinking about when he will glove up just yet -- though he did say he didn't think Broner is going to push for a rematch, to try and remove lingering doubt about his win or his performance.

Malignaggi, when not in fight mode, works for Showtime as an analyst, and will be in the booth July 27 to call the Andre Berto-Jesus Soto Karass bout put on by Golden Boy, from Texas. I asked him to assess that scrap between Berto, who has lost two of his last three, to Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, and needs a solid win to regain lost buzz and momentum, and the 30-year-old Soto Karass, a Mexican journeyman-type who through perseverance has elevated himself to a place where he could obtain a title shot soon.

"I think it's an entertaining fight," Malignaggi said. "I have my doubts as to how much it deserves to be a main event, but I do think the fight is entertaining. I think Soto Karass has earned his way up the ladder, the hard way. I think Soto Karass is catching Berto at a time where you might want to catch an Andre Berto."

Berto (28-2, age 29), in a bid to freshen things up, dumped Tony Morgan and is now with trainer Virgil Hunter. Will that pay dividends so quickly?

"We'll see," Malignaggi said. "You need time to adapt. About Andre Berto, I'm not going to say he's overrated, but does he have any wins over big-time opposition? This fight is a tossup in that way, you can't take Soto Karass and see his record (27-8-3) and say Andre Berto is going to walk through him. Berto hasn't beaten anyone high level. This is a tough fight for Andre Berto. If he wins it, you got to give him some credit."

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