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WBA orders Paulie Malignaggi – Diego Chavez fight

Paulie MalignaggiBy Dan Ambrose: It looks like the WBA is going to be giving WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi a lucky break by ordering him to face #1 WBA contender Diego Chavez (22-0, 18 KO’s) next instead of the fight that Malignaggi was hoping to get in Marcos Maidana. is reporting that the World Boxing Association has ordered the Malignaggi vs. Chavez fight to take place and they have 30 days to begin purse bids.

Malignaggi was supposed to have defended his title against his mandatory challenger within nine months of capturing the strap with a victory over former WBA champ Vyacheslav Senchenko last year in April of 2012. It’s now been 9 month and that gives Malignaggi no time to get in another optional title defense against Maidana, Shane Mosley or Andre Berto.

Malignaggi is still scheduled to fight on April 27th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but it gives the Argentinian Diego Chavez very little time to get ready for that fight.

Chavez is like a slower, weaker version of Maidana. He can punch hard but he’s got zero hand speed and he can be out-boxed. He’s probably about the same level as Malignaggi’s last opponent Pablo Cesar Cano, but perhaps a little more active. Chavez isn’t as dangerous as Maidana but he’s still more than good enough to give Malignaggi a ton of problems. Malignaggi barely beat Cano by a 12 round split decision.

If Malignaggi fights like that against Chavez then he’ll lose. Chavez has the power to put Malingaggi down and give him a real beating. Malignaggi will have to use his legs a lot more if he wants to beat Chavez because he won’t be able to stand in front of him for 12 rounds throwing weak jabs and shaking his upper body. Malignaggi needs to find his lost footwork or else his time as the WBA champ will end on April 27th.

The knock on Chavez, 26, is that he hasn’t fought any well-known fighters during his five-year pro career. He’s been fighting strictly in Argentina against fighters from over there. The best known fighter that Chavez has faced is 40-year-old Omar Weis. Chavez beat him by a close 12 round unanimous decision two years ago in January 2011. The fact that Chavez had to struggle to beat a past his prime Weis suggests that he’s not as good as his unbeaten record would suggest.

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