|Amir Khan walks down Paulie Malignaggi
By Vikram Birring at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (May 17, 2010)
As he walked towards the ring, Paulie Malignaggi must have been in disbelief. Flags of England and Pakistan waved through the audience at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden and he was serenaded with a strong chorus of boos (mixed in with roaring applause from his own fans) in his own hometown, a few minutes away from his home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
The champion, Amir Khan, walked in to the same reaction, but he was not surprised that many of his fans showed up
in support. Countryman Ricky Hatton had Floyd Mayweather in a hostile British environment in their bout in 2008; at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
To say English fans are passionate, is an understatement.
The bout began.
“Magic Man” Malignaggi confused Khan with beautiful defense and slick counter punches in the first four rounds, to the dismay of Khan and his following.
But in the sixth, Khan picked it up. He walked down Malignaggi, and landed thudding jabs mixed in with occasional right hands.
Round after round, the story was the same. Malignaggi’s head stopped moving, then his feet, then his hands. By the end of the tenth, Malignaggi had an entourage of doctors and state commission officials who pleaded with him to give up, but he refused.
Finally, in the eleventh, referee Steve Smoger halted the carnage. Malignaggi’s face was a mess, and his homecoming had turned into a cruel introduction of “King” Khan to New York City and the rest of the viewing audience in the United States.
Twenty years ago, Edward Rosario changed Hector Camacho from a knockout artist to a virtuoso artist boxer. It seems that Marcos Maidana has done the same to Victor Ortiz, because the young man once known as ‘Vicious’ looks more like a tactical surgeon than the savage fiend that he used to be.
Against thirty-eight year old former undisputed lightweight champion Nate Campbell, Ortiz moved around the ring and picked his punches, landed crisp combinations yet not enough to be caught into the brawl Campbell would have liked. Instead he would move his head and circle out of range just before the danger. This pattern continued for ten rounds and Ortiz won an easy unanimous decision. This style may be unsatisfying for fans, but for anyone who has been in a boxing ring and hit with solid punches to the face and head, it is understandable, and rather remarkable that he has been able to change his tactics completely in such a short time.
Questions or comments,
e-mail Vikram at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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