He was tempted to walk away after his last outing. But going out that way, with a referee rescuing a proud man from further punishment, that was not going to be the way Paul Malignaggi would exit the stage.
So the 34 year old New Yorker got back to business, and hopped back on the horse that bucked him. On Saturday, Paulie scored a UD8 win in Milan, over a journeyman sort, named Laszlo Fazekas.
“Just wanted to let all my fans know we got the win tonight in Milan, unanimous decision. Felt good to get the hand raised for the 34th time,” said the scrapper, whose roots are in Sicily,* on Twitter.
Advisor Anthony Catanzaro filled me in some. “We got the win,” he said. “Fazekas was on the back foot all night, and tried to foul and survive.” And how did Paulie look? “He looked great, and we have an eye on Branco’s European title.” That would refer to Gianluca Branco, a 45-year-old Italian who holds the EBU welter crown. He was on US radars in losses to Arturo Gatti in 2004 and Miguel Cotto, via stoppage, in 2006.
“It was all good, a great feeling, a great homecoming,” finished Catanzaro.
*=Malignaggi family hails from Siracusa, in Sicily, the same city where Guglielmo Papaleo grew up. (Willie Pep, you know him as…)