By Rick Reeno
And I thought Tuesday night would be quiet. BoxingScene.com received a furious call from former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. Malignaggi was waiting for his flight at JFK airport and wanted to speak his mind before making his trip to Houston, Texas for Saturday's fight against Juan Diaz.
Malignaggi is confident that he possesses the skills to box his way to victory. At the same time, he is fearful of a robbery. He alleged that Diaz's promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, is stacking everything against him to ensure their fighter gets the win. His main gripe, among the many, has to do with officials being assigned to the fight. Malignaggi claims that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer promised neutral officials and never held true to his word. According to Malignaggi, the officials are far from neutral.
"I'm going to get f*cked in this fight. Rick, I called you because I want everyone to know. They won't change and I'm going to get f*cked any way, so I might as well educate people. It's all bullsh*t what they've done. Mind you Rick, I still feel very good about the fight. I don't want people to get the wrong idea. I'm still very confident of whooping Diaz's ass on Saturday night," Malignaggi said.
"Richard Schaefer promised us neutral officials when we agreed to the fight. Boxing we already know is corrupt and disorganized, it's a f*cking joke. They are doing everything to declare him the winner before we fight. You have Gale Van Hoy, a judge from Texas who scored the Chris John vs. Rocky Juarez fight a draw. Then you have Raul Caiz, a Mexican judge from California who is anything but neutral. Looking at the fights Caiz has judged in the past, he is far from neutral when it comes to Golden Boy and Mexican fighters. The referee is Laurence Cole and all you have to do is look him up to see his past. Then they had a judge from Las Vegas and we didn't have a problem with her, so they [Golden Boy] go and change the judge to some guy from Oklahoma that I've never even heard of. Oklahoma as you know is right near Texas and that's far from neutral also."
The negotiations were far from easy. Malignaggi had to bend on a lot of things to get the fight done. He budged on the money, the location, the venue, the agreed upon catch-weight and the size of the ring. In the end, his hands were tied on the matter. He needed the fight, a recognizable opponent and more importantly - he needed to get back on HBO.
"We gave a lot but now it's gotten to the point where they won't let people find out who is better, Juan Diaz or Paulie Malignaggi. Why give all of the advantages to one fighter? Because I'm ready to go and I'm ready to show that I'm a better fight than Juan Diaz. I don't think they feel so confident on the other side. This is why people don't wathc boxing, at least in this country - because of situations like this. Most people will keep their mouth shut and get f*cked. I'm not going to keep my mouth shut and get f*cked. I'm going to blow up their spot," Malignaggi said.
"We had to fight him at home for no extra money than what they offered us. We had to agree to weight which is a f*cking joke. We had no choice. I said fine, I took the fight because I wanted to show people that I'm a better fighter than what they saw from the last year's performances. Then they started adding more sh*t like an eighteen-foot ring and judges who aren't neutral. They said it's going to be an eighteen-foot ring or they won't fight. I think I owe it to HBO for giving me the opportunity. I just wanted it to be known. This is not how you do business. It's unethical, immoral and dishonest."