Malignaggi defeats Cano by split decision
By Jim Dower: WBA World welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO’s) edged 23-year-old challenger Pablo Cesar Cano (25-2-1, 19 KO’s) by a 12 round split decision in a non-title fight on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The final judges scores were 118-109 for Cano, and 114-113 and 114-113 for the 31-year-old Malignaggi. In the 11th round, Malignaggi was dropped by a big right hand from Cano. Luckily for Malignaggi the knockdown came near the end of the round. Cano mostly dominated the 12th round.
This was a difficult fight to score because Malignaggi threw mostly jabs compared to Cano’s power shots and the power punches that Malignaggi did throw in the fight were more like jabs due to the lack of power on them.
Malignaggi didn’t look impressive in the fight, but he had an advantage in that Cano, #10 WBA, had very little in the way of hand speed and was painfully slow of hand and foot. That definitely helped because most of the top contenders that Malignaggi could have fought are much faster than Cano and punch with better power.
Cano suffered a really nasty cut over his left eye in the 2nd round. However, his corner did a great job of keeping the cut from worsening. Some of that also had to do with Malignaggi simply not having the power to make the cut worse.
Malignaggi was in disagreement with the scores of the fight, seeing himself as having won by a lopsided decision. He was also in disagreement with the punch stats that had Cano with a huge advantage in power punches landed.
After the fight Malignaggi mentioned wanting to to fight Ricky Hatton next, saying “It would be an honor to fight Ricky Hatton.