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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Mellow Zab, fiery Paulie hype Dec. 7 bout

By Michael Woods

Paulie Malignaggi will battle Zab Judah at Barclays Center on Dec. 7.
Paulie Malignaggi will battle Zab Judah at Barclays Center on Dec. 7.
Both boxers are coming off clashes they lost at Barclays Center, scraps which featured heated trash talking. But Zab Judah and Paul Malignaggi were on their best behavior Tuesday afternoon as they hyped their Battle of Brooklyn, which will unfold at Barclays Center on Dec. 7, on a Golden Boy card which will run on Showtime.

That isn't to say the presser at Barclays Center didn't feature some verbal bomb-dropping. But it was the Bensonhurst-bred Malignaggi (32-5 with seven KOs; age 32) who put that forth, with a scathing takedown of the boxing media, which he slammed for being too keen on printing gossip. He was riffing off resentments which bubbled up in the leadup to his last outing, against Adrien Broner on June 22. Malignaggi said the boxing media too often acted like "The National Enquirer," because material was printed about a relationship he had with a woman who later became involved with Broner.

Also, he said, boxing writers are often too busy crafting pound-for-pound lists, instead of reporting on substantive issues, like performance-enhancing drugs. He took a slap at "experts" who didn't think he was neck-and-neck with Broner, who won a split decision in their bout. He took the stance that writers who don't take serious stands on deep issues have no right to opine on a boxer, for example, coasting to a decision win instead of gunning for a stoppage.

Brownsville native Judah (42-8 with 29 KOs; age 35), who looked solid in dropping a UD12 to Danny Garcia on April 27, was comparatively mellow. There was zero hint of danger, or premature violence, as there was during the first Judah-Garcia presser, which nearly devolved into a full-scale brawl.

Judah said that he had an edge over Malignaggi in "hand speed and power," and predicted Malignaggi doesn't have the pop to rebuff him at all. "Paulie has fast hands, too," he allowed. "But he doesn't have what it takes to hold Zab Judah back."