Paulie Malignaggi vs. Laszlo Fazekas on September 26th
By Jim Dower: With two knockout losses in his last two fights, former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi (33-7, 7 KOs) will be back in the ring this month against 25-year-old Hungarian journeyman Laszlo Fazekas (27-21-1, 17 KOs) in a scheduled eight round bout at the Teatro Principe, in Milan, Lombardia, Italy.
It’s unclear what Malignaggi, 34, hopes to gain in moving this far down the foot chain in terms of his opposition. Malignaggi was stopped in the 9th round by former WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia last August at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Malignaggi wasn’t competitive at all, and mainly just soaked up punishment for nine rounds before the referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stopped the fight at 2:22 of the round after Malignaggi got hurt by a left hook and was taking punishment against the ropes.
Malignaggi later said that he was probably not going to continue fighting. But after sitting and thinking on it, Malignaggi came to the conclusion that he shouldn’t have taken a fighter as tough as Danny Garcia after being out of the ring for an entire year.
Before the Garcia fight, Malignaggi hadn’t fought since being stopped in the 4th round by Shawn Porter in April of 2014. Malignaggi hadn’t been out of the ring for long when he took the Porter fight so there wasn’t any excuses about inactivity that he could use to try and explain away his loss to him. Malignaggi was simply beaten by a younger, stronger, and more talented fighter in Porter.
“Fighting in Italy has always been my desire as I was born in New York from Italian parents, I lived the first six years of my life in Italy and I visited my ancestral country (whose language I speak perfectly) countless times,” Malignaggi said via press release.
If Malignaggi continues to fight guys at the level of Fazekas then he’ll probably be able to keep his career afloat for many years. It’s a good way for Malignaggi to pad his record and keep in the running for occasional nice payday like the one he just got against Garcia last August. Malignaggi made $500,000 for the Danny Garcia fight on Premier Boxing Champions, and that’s obviously very good money for a fighter who hadn’t fought in over a years since his loss to Porter.
If Malignaggi wants fights against the likes of Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, and other notable fighters, he’s going to need to keep fighting and winning. It probably doesn’t even matter if Malignaggi continues to face fighters like Fazekas. As long as he can show that he’s got a winning streak going at the time that he’s selected for a nice payday, he’ll get selected.
Malignaggi was in the right place at the right time in 2012, when he was picked out by then WBA “regular” welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko for a title shot. Malignaggi exposed Senchenko by beating him badly and scoring a 9th round stoppage win the WBA 147lb title.
Malignaggi was able to successfully defend the title once in beating Pablo Cesar Cano by a controversial 12 round split decision in October 2012 before losing his title to Adrien Broner in June of 2013 in losing a 12 round split decision. Since then, Malignaggi has lost two out of his last three fights in beating Zab Judah, and then losing to Porter and Garcia by knockout.