He Facebooked furiously, Tweeted his tail off and did it the old fashioned way as well. Paulie Malignaggi told one and all, loudly and often all by all means of communicating, that this time, there would be no doubt, he'd get the better of Juan Diaz.
The New Yorker showed as much confidence in a Chicago ring on Saturday night as he did promising he'd erase the doubts lingering after he got the short of it from the judges the first time he and Diaz clashed, in Texas in August. His ring generalship made up for his lack of punching power, as he darted and scooted away from Diaz after popping him with everything from his speedy arsenal. But still, the judges held the fate of the fighters in their hands after twelve hard rounds.
This time, there was no need for a post-fight diatribe from Paulie, no after fight meltdown, because the scores came back his way, 116-111 times three.
DiFiore, Miller, and Pernick liked his brand of the sweet science. "I gotta say I told you so," Paulie said after, and then blasted all the "haters" for writing him off last year.
Harold Lederman gave it to Paulie, 115-112. Paulie was the busier, 169-802 to 146-516, making it that much easier for the arbiters viewing the junior welter clash.
Paulie told Max Kellerman he'd like Juan Manuel Marquez, with the winner to meet Ricky Hatton. "I'll beat Ricky easy," he said.
Diaz came in 35-2, and pretty sure he'd be more aggressive, and more accurate and would make his power pay off this time around. Paulie came in 26-3, even more sure that he had the style edge, that Diaz' aggressiveness would be of the ineffective sort, because his movement would make the Texan look comparatively plodding.
Paulie scored a knockdown with a cuffing right, behind the head, in the tenth. Diaz' glove scraped the mat.
Victor Ortiz answered some questions, from himself and from fans. He said no mas to Marcos Maidana in his last fight, and we wondered if he was cut out for this. He showed vet Antonio Diaz he is, stopping him in the sixth, from a bad cut. He sent Diaz down in the third as well.
Come back for George Kimball's ringside report...
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV