Paul Malignaggi is a boxer, analyst, and also, like us, a fan. He wants to see the best fight the best; that came out when I asked him Saturday morning his after-the-fact take on the scraps which unfolded in Montreal Friday night, and on his network, Showtime.
“Adonis Stevenson did what he had to against an overmatched opponent,” the 34-year-old “Pride of Bensonhurst” told me. “Hopefully next year he can get in with some big guns.”
Amen, fight dissector. We are all on the same page there. Er…maybe not all. The blowback against Adonis after beating Dmitriy Sukhotskiy was swift and severe last night, when he proclaimed post-fight himself the man and said that Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal need to be coming to him, not the other way around. He’s been schizoid about that topic, saying he wants these big bouts, then not, then on again, now seemingly disinterested again. Playing hard to get? Or actually hard to get? Is he being mis-advised…or being smartly moved from the perspective of what is best for the man, and his ability to accumulate purses which he can retire on…because he’s 37, and what if a Kovalev steamrolls him and turns the lights out on his late-starting career? I’m inclined to play the waiting game, and not indulge in the duck maiming-memeing…but it is hard to defend Adonis when he himself sends those mixed messages, months after entering into a business deal with Al Haymon which exploded an in-the-planning faceoff with Kovalev.
“He took on some formidable foes last year but boxing unfortunately is a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ type of sport and when someone is held in that high regard, he needs to fight the winner of Kovalev vs. Pascal, or even a Bernard Hopkins fight would be interesting,” said Malignaggi.
Artur Beterbiev, a highly touted prospect who many thought was on a Lomachenko sort of fast track, lost some rooters off the bandwagon when he looked so-so to start against Jeff Page. His power then spoke loudly, as he did some percussion practice on Page’s noggin, sending him down in a whack-a-mole sort of ritual. What did Paulie think of the 7-0 (7 KOs) Russian? “He may enter the fray as well but as strong a puncher as he seems to be, he also might be a bit too raw for now.”
I second that…but then again…that power looks to be A grade, and that can make up for “green” to a fairy extent, for awhile anyway.
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