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Malignaggi discusses Spence, Pacquiao vs. Garcia & Thurman vs. Porter

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By Matt Lieberman:  Paulie Malignaggi sees a lot of interesting potential fights that can be made involving Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter.

These are all PBC welterweights, who will be looking for fights once the coronavirus clears away so that boxing cards can take place.

One fight that Malignaggi really wants to see take place is between WBA Super World 147-lb champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) and former two-division world champion Danny Garcia. (36-2, 21 KOs)

Spence has his eye on a fight against Danny, and he’d said that he wants to fight in July. That time frame sounds doubtful given the spread of COVID 19 globally. With the car crash that Spence was in last October, his adviser Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions will probably look to bring him back against a less dangerous opponent than Garcia.

Malignaggi wants Pacquiao vs. Danny Garcia

“I think Spence has to come back from the injury and whatnot. Make Pacquiao and Garcia,” said Malignaggi to Fighthype in talking about fights that should be made. “That’s an interesting style matchup. Make Pacquiao and [Danny] Garcia. If Pacquiao can outwork him somehow.

“I don’t know. 42-years-old and you outwork the other guy. Danny is a very good timing fighter. He might be the best timing fighter in boxing. If he catches you coming, and Pacquiao does come in recklessly a lot. I think it’s a nice style-gel, a nice style mesh. I’d like to see that fight. If you give me a fight at welterweight, I want to see Pacquiao and Danny Garcia.

“I think Danny’s style is hard to appreciate for people not really in boxing. His timing is so good, and Pacquiao jumps in so recklessly. He didn’t learn anything from the Marquez knockout. He still does the same thing,” said Malignaggi.

Based on the recent performances by Danny Garcia and Pacquiao, you’d have to lean in Manny’s direction to win this. Garcia, 31, didn’t look so great in his recent 12 round decision victory over Ivan Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs) on January 25.

Although Danny dominated the fight, Redkach hung tough and landed a lot of shots on Danny. Had Redkach had a bit more power, Garcia would have had pure trouble.

You can’t say that Garcia has improved lately because the guys he’s beating are lower-level fighters. When Garcia steps up against good opposition, he loses. Pacquiao might be a little too busy for Garcia, and he could beat him up. Pacquiao probably won’t stop Garcia, but he’ll outwork him and give him grief.

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Danny Garcia could hurt Pacquiao

“Danny, you see what he does with guys that jump in like that. You saw hat he did to Khan, and what he did with Erik Morales when he jumped in there with the hook. Danny is a very good timing fighter. He hurt Zab Judah a couple of times with good timing counters. Pacquiao flies in and if Danny miss-times him, he’s probably on the other end of a big combination.

“Man, if Danny times him, Pacquiao is on his a—. So it’s one of those fights where the level of success can be measured in both guys. They both have a level of success. Both fighters are mentally strong, which I love. I love guys that are willing to go into the fire a little bit and go through what they have to go through to win a fight. So I think it has all the ingredients to be a really good fight,” said Malignaggi.

It’s been a long time since Danny fought a serious opponent. The last tough opponent Garcia fought was Shawn Porter in September 2018, and he lost to him by a 12 round unanimous decision. It was a close with Porter winning by the scores 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113, but there was no question that Shawn deserved the victory.

Before that, Garcia lost to Keith Thurman in 2017. Those two are the only good opponents that Danny has fought in the last three years. Garcia’s wins since 2017 have come against Redkach, Brandon Rios and Adrien Granados.

Spence should fight a fringe contender

“I’d say give Spence a bottom of a top 10 type guy,” said Malignaggi. “Maybe give him a guy that is trying to break through to the top 10, but hasn’t made a name for himself just yet, and maybe the guy has a chance to put up a good fight against Spence in a losing effort and remain in big fights.

“Kind of like me and Cotto. You’re looking for a guy that was good enough to fight, but not winning the fight. Let’s see if he performs. If he does perform, then you kind of have a new guy in the mix. That becomes a fun fight. Viktor Postol would be a guy. Obviously, I said a young guy, so I’m contradicting myself.

“Viktor Postol kind of falls into that kind of opponent as well where you want to test out the waters for Errol Spence. They called him back to make that fight. That fight got made 100%?” asked Malignaggi on the canceled Jose Ramirez vs. Postol fight. “I used to spar Viktor Postol. He’s 6’1”. Is he going to fight Ramirez? Viktor Postol is a big welterweight.

Postol fights at 140, and Top Rank Boxing plans on using him as an opponent for WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez. He’s not expected to be available for Spence to fight once the fights resume again.

These would be good options for Spence’s tune-up:

  • Amir Khan
  • Sergey Lipinets
  • Thomas Dulorme
  • David Avanesyan
  • Jamal James
  • Josh Kelly
  • Josesito Lopez

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Thurman vs. Porter 2 rematch

“I wouldn’t mind seeing a Porter and Thurman rematch. They’re both coming off of losses. I think that’s a nice way to match them up. Now we’re talking. I think now we’re setting everyone up with a dance partner. And I think Porter-Thurman 2 is a nice fight too, and I think now is a good time to make it,” said Malignaggi.

Thurman is coming off of a loss to Pacquiao, so he might not be too excited at fighting Porter.  Although Thurman did beat Porter by a close 12 round decision in June 2016, that was years ago and he was still active then. Thurman has been dealing with a lot of inactivity since 2017, and he’s had weight and injury problems. It’s not likely that Thurman would agree to fight Porter right now, even though he could probably beat him.

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