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Malignaggi Rips Alexander, Fears For Morales, Berto-Ortiz

By Chris Robinson

Recently I had a very deep conversation with Paulie Malignaggi about his career, specifically his return to Las Vegas on the April 9th HBO pay per view show at the MGM Grand. The great thing about Malignaggi, besides being a colorful personality, is that he is a pure fan of the sport of boxing and can talk endlessly about his fellow brethren and other key aspects of the game.
 
So it was only natural that I got the Brooklyn fighter's take on a few matchups and characters within the sport as our talk rolled on. With Malignaggi you can honestly sense no real bias but at the same time the former IBF junior welterweight champion is often unabashed with his comments and it's always interesting getting his take on things.
 
In his own words, please read below to see what Malignaggi had to say about his war of words with Devon Alexander, the upcoming Marcos Maidana-Erik Morales scrap, Victor Ortiz's chances against Andre Berto, why Amir Khan should be wary of Paul McCloskey and much more...
 
Not a fan of Marcos Maidana vs. Erik Morales...
"I actually don't like the fight. I have to be honest. I feel a little bit for Erik Morales because Erik Morales has always been a guy who fights with a lot of heart and doesn't back down. Having said that, I just don't know if he can stand up to the firepower of a younger, hungry, just bulldog in Maidana. I don't think he's in a weight class he belongs in and I believe Maidana is just very hungry and very strong right now. I have all the respect in the world for Erik Morales man; he's given a lot of great fights and no one should forget that but I don't think it's going to be a good night for Erik Morales on April 9th."
 
In awe of Maidana...
"Literally, if you told me Marcos Maidana ate nails everyday, I would believe it. What I saw in the Khan fight, getting up from that body shot, he looked so normal when he got up from that shot. Most guys, it would have been over after getting hit like that to the body. And not only that, but to come back and show what he did in that fight. I just don't know if Morales can stand up to that anymore."
 
Victor Ortiz's chances against WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto...
"I think it's a solid fight, I really do. I think it's almost like a pick em' fight. People can say that Berto is fighting another smaller guy but honestly if you look at the size of those two, I don't see Victor being able to make junior welterweight much longer. He's a growing kid and he's like 23, 24. He's a big junior welterweight and I don't think this is one of the cases of Berto fighting a naturally smaller guy. I actually think Victor is more suited at welterweight. I like that fight. It's a fight between two guys who know how to fight. And I'm excited to be able to watch it. I might actually go there and watch it after my fight."
 
Why Amir Khan shouldn't look past Paul McCloskey...
"First of all people should realize that Paul McCloskey is a hungry guy. He's coming in undefeated. He's coming in with his first world title shot. Nobody should think that Paul McCloskley isn't ready for that fight any more than now. People dream of getting in the ring and fighting for a world championship. People dream of that opportunity. He's not just getting it; he's undefeated and he's beaten everyone they have put in front of him. He's a deserving challenger. In a way he reminds me of myself when I fought Cotto. I had an undefeated record and people thought I wasn't' going to be able to match him. A lot of the American public thinks the same way about Paul McCloskey. And yeah I didn't beat Miguel Cotto but I showed that I belong on this level. So I think McCloskey falls in the same boat. We'll see what he's made of. I'm not going to tell you that he's going to be Amir; I don't know enough about McCloskey to really make a prediction on the fight."
 
A potential Amir Khan-Timothy Bradley clash...
"But Amir-Bradley to me is also an interesting matchup. It's a fight between two guys who, at this point in their careers, it is a hard fight to pick. Bradley does a lot of things well. Amir does a lot of things well. It would be interesting but we'll see what Amir does with McCloskey first."
 
Thoughts on Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse...
"I'm not sure. I don't know enough about Matthysse. He started slow against Zab. I thought Matthysse won that fight. But having said that, if stays with that not-being-busy routine, with he did with Zab, I think Devon is a much busier fighter and he may outpoint him pretty handily."
 
A big lack of heart from Alexander...
"Having said that, Devon showed me a big lack of heart in his last fight, his fight with Bradley. A big lack of desire, big lack of hear, big lack of grit. When all you hear about a fighter is how he came from nothing, how he came up hungry, how he came up and he just had it so bad - I just speak from my own personal experience, I fight hard every time because I don't want to go back to where I come from, you know what I mean? That's why I leave it all in the ring. I try to do as much as I possibly can to do what I possibly can do. I have a responsibility to myself, a responsibility to the fans and I have a responsibility to the people who believe in me, like the networks. When you look at a guy like Alexander, and he quits like that, it makes you question if he really had it that bad.  I don't know. To me, a person that really comes from nothing and a person that comes from somewhere they don't want to be anymore and they don't want to be there - they will stop at nothing to go back. Even if you are at death's doorstep. Alexander was far from being at death's doorstep. He just got head butted and cried a lot and then he quit."
 
Critical towards Devon...

"I was very critical about him, especially with some of the comments he made about myself. This wasn't a guy who I was ever going to fight. There was no reason he needed to talk trash about me. I let it happen. What happened, happened, but when I saw the way this guy reacted it surprised me. Because I have to tell you, you hear stories that he came from nothing, and I didn't expect him to quit. I just let it go when he talked garbage about me but when I saw that I said 'Oh no, I can't let this fly'."

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Access_Denied on 04-01-2011

[QUOTE=martin_1995;10315970]he ain't nobody. So he only way of staying in business is by moving his big negro lips just like gayweather. Both of them come from the same school, speak loud and repeat you're the best.... maybe some puk will…

Comment by martin_1995 on 04-01-2011

he ain't nobody. So he only way of staying in business is by moving his big negro lips just like gayweather. Both of them come from the same school, speak loud and repeat you're the best.... maybe some puk will…

Comment by -TRGB- on 04-01-2011

My fellow Azzurri is typically on-point; he's cut from much tougher cloth than Alexander's punk-ass. Does Alexander think he could fight tough in a situation comparable to the one Malignaggi faced in his fight with Cotto after the early rounds?…

Comment by Gratide on 04-01-2011

Paulie is fun to watch but the poor guy just doesn't have any power . Yes I think Alexander under achieved against Bradley ,I want to see Bradley fight where there is a real ref in there taking away points…

Comment by wazaa. on 04-01-2011

[QUOTE] [B]"Having said that, Devon showed me a big lack of heart in his last fight, his fight with Bradley. A big lack of desire, big lack of hear, big lack of grit. When all you hear about a fighter…

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