MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – Paulie Malignaggi did what his supporters and his promoter had been hoping he’d do for a long time – made a statement with his fists instead of with his mouth.
“I’ll let my performance speak for itself,” said Malignaggi, seized by uncharacteristic humility following a lopsided win over Denver veteran Donald Camarena at Foxwoods Friday night. “I’ve said I’ve had great performances before – even when you and I know they really weren’t.”
This one was. In what promoter Lou DiBella and referee Steve Smoger alike termed “a boxing lesson,” Malignaggi lifted the WBC Continental Americas belt from the Denver boxer in the main event of DiBella’s six-bout card.
Malignaggi’s speed was almost blinding, as he repeatedly tattooed Camarena without ever drawing much fire in return. The frustrated Coloradan didn’t even wait to hear the judges’ decision: Moments after the final bell he had hoisted up Malignaggi and was parading the new champion around in the ring.
Two judges, Clark Sammartino and Steve Epstein, had it a shutout for Malignaggi at 100-90, while Glenn Feldman had Malignaggi ahead 98-92 after ten. The Sweet Science scored it 99-91 for the new champion.
DiBella termed it “the best performance of Paulie’s career.”
“I don’t want to take anything away from him, but he’s not the best fighter I’ve ever fought,” said Malignaggi of Camarena. “I think my speed discouraged him – just like it discourages all of them.”
“I’m thrilled that his hands held up,” added DiBella of the oft-injured Brooklynite. “And it was a boxing lesson to a real good fighter, because Camarena’a certainly no stooge.
“But,” added the promoter, “you see what an advantage speed can be. I didn’t expect this – but guys like (Miguel) Cotto who think Paulie can’t punch had better watch out.”
Malignaggi’s win was the 21st in as many pro fights, while Camarena fell to 16-2 with the loss.
Miami-based Colombian Jamie Rangel, pinch-hitting for Ghanaian Emmanuel Clottey in what was originally to have been an All-Emanuel co-feature on the ESPN2 telecast, was stopped by Texas veteran Emanuel Augustus with less than a minute to go in their scheduled 10-rounder.
Rangel (30-9-1) had an early nose in the fight and was leading on all three cards as the bout passed its midpoint, but Augustus came on strong down the stretch and dominated the last several rounds. Augustus (31-26-6) hurt Rangel badly enough early in the 10th that the Columbian dropped to a knee and took refuge on the canvas. Later in the stanza Rangel tried to buy yet more time by spitting out his mouthpiece, and was warned by referee Dick Flaherty that a repetition might bring disqualification.
Then, with a minute left in the bout, Augustus staggered Rangel with a pair of straight rights, the second of which sent him toppling over. Rangel made it to his feet by the count of nine, but Flaherty waved the bout off at 2:20, making it the only fight on the card not to go the distance.
“He’s the most exciting bad-record fighter in the world,” said DiBella of Augustus. “That’s why I promote him.”
Canadian light-heavyweight Anthony Russell (12-1-1) had his hands full with Detroiter Ray Darden (9-12) but hung on to win by the narrowest of majority decisions. Russell led by 38-37 on the cards of Sammartino and Don Trella, while Feldman had the bout even at 38-all. Darden was down in the first, Russell in the fourth.
Somebody’s O had to go in the curtain-raiser, and it proved to be Joseph Rosa (1-0-1), who broke his maiden in a battle of previously winless New York junior lightweights, putting Angelo Acevedo (0-3-1) on his backside in the first round on the way to a unanimous decision. Rosa, whose red trunks clashed somewhat with his purple hair, won by scores of 40-36 (Epstein), and 39-37 (Sammartino and Trella) twice.
Dominican-born Bronx junior welter Julio Cardenas climbed off the canvas after going down in the first and improved to 8-0, outpointing a game Joey Ortega (2-14) of Lowell, Mass.
In the walk-out bout Phil (Mongoose) McCants (6-1-1) floored Kareem Robinson (2-3) twice (officially; a third knockdown was ruled by Smoger to have come just after the bell) and cruised to victory in their matchup of Philadelphia welterweights. All three judges and TSS concurred at 40-34.
DiBella was on hand in Connecticut after another harrowing day, one which saw him finally hammer out a deal for a Jermain Taylor-Winky Wright middleweight title bout literally 20 minutes before the issue would have gone to a purse bid. The on-again, off-again fight will be televised live on HBO, with the purse split 55-45 in the champion’s favor.
“It’s basically the same deal we had earlier in the week (before the Winkster ran amok and announced that he had dismissed promoter Gary Shaw),” said DiBella. “Winky Promotions has nothing to do with the fight. It will be promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw.”
Although the fight now has a date – June 17 – DiBella said that the site remained up in the air as of last night, Wright’s recalcitrance having effectively torpedoed earlier arrangements.
Boxing will return to Foxwoods March 10 with a USBA middleweight title bout between Brockton (Mass.) based Philadelphian Willie Gibbs (19-1) and Catskill (NY) based Haitian (18-1). Atlantic City junior welter Shamone Alvarez (12-0) will fight Ohio veteran Virgil McClendon (22-6-1) in the co-feature.
FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO
FEBRUARY 10, 2006
JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS: Paulie Malignaggi, 140, Brooklyn, NY dec. Donald Camarena, 139, Denver (10) (Wins WBC Continental Americas title)
Emanuel Augustus, 137, Brownsville, Tex TKO’d Jaime Rangel, 141, Cordova, Colombia (10)
Julio Cardenas, 137, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic dec. Joey Ortega, 141, Lowell, Mass. (4)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Anthony Russell, 172, Kitchener, Ontario dec. Ray Darden, 175, Detroit (4)
WELTERWEIGHTS: Philip McCants, 145, Philadelphia dec. Kareem Robinson, 148, Philadelphia (4)
JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHTS: Joseph Rosa, 127, Bronx, NY dec. Angelo Gustavo Acevedo, 128, Brooklyn, NY (4)
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV