Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Boxing Poet Laureate – Paulie Malignaggi, a former world champion in two weight classes, had a rough go of it in his last fight on American soil. Danny Garcia worked him over pretty good before stopping him in the ninth frame. Off that fight, retirement seemed the proper course of action but the Brooklyn-born Malignaggi, who spent the early part of his boyhood in Sicily, troops on. Tomorrow night the 35-year-old campaigner opposes fellow Brooklynite Gabriel Bracero at the Barclays Center on the undercard of the show that features undefeated featherweights Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton in the main event. His bout will air on Showtime Extreme.

Why keep fighting and risk permanent damage? It’s a question that’s been asked of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of professional boxers. But perhaps no one has answered it as eloquently as Malignaggi. His open letter to the boxing community, in which he explains his need to keep on fighting, reads like a fine piece of poetry. Here it is.

Dear Boxing,

I don’t need the money

I don’t need the fame

But I still need to fight

Even my friends think I’m a little crazy

And maybe I am

Hey, I’d have never been a champ if I weren’t

I know fighters don’t age gracefully

I know fighters get hurt

But I also know in my heart I got to fight

Why? I’ll tell you


Not the normal kind, though

More like a bad girlfriend

She’s broken my heart

She’ll do it again

And I keep coming back for more

I love her despite her treacheries

My mind knows better

My heart doesn’t

And it was my heart that got me here in the first place

You see, boxing loved me when no one else would

I was a kid from Sicily

A high school dropout

Boxing gave me things I couldn’t imagine

Boxing let me dream

And that’s what I want

That’s what I’m fighting for

That chance to dream again

(Yours truly, Paulie)

Boxing Poet Laureate

Facebook Comments