I enjoy parsing Paul Malignaggi's words and thoughts, even when he takes a potshot at my fraternity, as he did on Tuesday, during a media workout at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, ahead of his showdown with Adrien Broner.
“Boxing writers don't know anything they are talking about, boxing critics don't know anything they are talking about,” said the 32-year-old New Yorker who now lives in LA. “Time and again instead of giving me the respect, I get written off, and this is another example. Time and again, I'm here, I've been here a dozen years, I've been fighting at a high level since 2006, I never get my respect. Time and again, they're wrong, and time and again, they continue to do the same thing and not change their thinking, and not just toward me, but the way they look at boxing in general. I don't respect most pundits or historians or writers or critics at all.”
Now that he realizes that critics are simply wrongheaded lunkheads, he said, he knows to fight for himself, listen to his own take on his talents, and not pay so much attention to detractors.
I suspect that Paulie does still take criticism to heart more than he lets on, but simply re-directs it in a more useful fashion than he used to. Instead of letting it into his brain, where it takes up space and don't pay rent, he uses it to fuel his fire, and prod him to work harder.