Do not invite Paul Malignaggi and judge Glenn Feldman to your holiday party. The Bensonhurst-bred welterweight champion has no great love for the arbiter who scored his Saturday night title defense at Barclays in favor of Pablo Cano, 118-109. I didn't meet anyone who was at the fight who saw Cano, who sported a vicious cut over his left eye from a punch, the winner by such a margin.
Malignaggi, age 31, thundered at Feldman at the post-fight presser, and if there is a way for him to lobby and get his way, I'd guess Mr. Feldman, who Malignaggi stated he did not dislike as a person, would not score Malignaggi's next bout.
The Magic Man went to 32-7 with the split decision victory, as judges Nelson Vazquez and Tom Miller had it 114-113 for the vet. Yes, Cano, age 24, had his moments. At the arena, his punches spoke more loudly, at times, than did Malignaggi's. His body work reddened the winner's sides, and when he landed, and sweat sprayed off Malignaggi's head, that seemed to get the judges' attention.
Malignaggi advisor Anthony Catanzaro checked in with NYFightBlog the morning after, with some thoughts on the scrap.
"It was a physical fight, a fight where Paulie outboxed a game, competent guy for ten of twelve rounds," he said. "Cano fought our fight in the middle of the ring and was outjabbed all night. He was leaking blood profusely and fights have been stopped for lesser cuts, not to mention all the low blows that went unpunished. Paulie as a true champion got off the canvas and finished the fight strongly."
Cano sent Malignaggi down in round 11, adding more drama to the affair as we awaited the scorecards' tally. Malignaggi said afterward he didn't feel the drama, as he assumed he had a nice lead at that point. Another point -- Cano didn't make weight, and Malignaggi thinks he gave a half-hearted effort in trying to carve off a bit more than a pound in the two hours he was given to do so on Friday. He had to pay $50,000 from his purse to Malignaggi, but I think it's fair to say he might have had more energy on fight night because he didn't expend more energy to make 147.
Readers who were on hand and/or watched on Showtime, how did you score it? I'm curious; since I was writing during the fights, and because I feared I'd miss a telling blow I didn't keep a scorecard.