By Cliff Rold
DC Armory, Washington, District of Columbia - 26-year old IBF Welterweight titlist Shawn Porter (24-0-1, 15 KO), 146 ¾, of Akron, Ohio, made his first defense of the belt he won from Devon Alexander last December, dropping and stopping 33-year old two division former titlist Paulie Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KO), 146 ¼, of Brooklyn, New York, in the fourth round. It was Porter’s first stoppage win in six fights dating to 2012. The referee was Sam Williams.
While shorter it was evident at the opening bell that Porter was the more stout of the two and a fight with several early clinches resulted in a laceration under the left eye of Malignaggi. Malignaggi was firing back hard when Porter muscled him to the ropes, but Porter’s body shots looked like the sort that could put him to the ropes all night.
In round two, one could wonder how long all night would be. A left hook from Porter had Mlaignaggi on shaky legs and he absorbed a bad beating on the ropes, his return fire little more than a ploy for survival. In the third, it was Porter’s right hand doing the damage, and then some more with the left as Maliganggi’s supporters chanted for their man to no avail. At the bell to end the third, Maliganggi wobbled to the corner, already wearing the face of a beaten man.
Porter dropped Malignaggi early in round four with a clipping right hand and while the always game New Yorker rose, his heart couldn’t change the course of the night. Porter trapped Malignaggi on the ropes and blasted away, referee Williams maybe letting it go a shot or two longer than necessary. It was the worst loss of Malignaggi’s career, halted at 1:14 of round four.
Interviewed after the fight, Porter was all smiles. “I knew what he was coming with but I had some questions of my own.” He found the answers and, with two big wins now under his belt as a champion, Porter may be a player at Welterweight for awhile. At the very least, he’ll be fun to watch try. Asked about his preparation for the fight, Porter said, “We lost the weight well. It paid off in this fight. Paulie was a great fighter and will always be someone I admire.”
An emotional Malignaggi contemplated retirement out loud after the fight and was all class. Asked what he’d said to Porter after the fight, he said, “I told him to go be great. I just said, “Don’t make me have lost to an average fighter. Go be great so that I can say that a really great fighter beat me.” I know that he has that potential.” The crowd gave him an earned cheer as he exited the ring. Tags: Paulie Malignaggi , Shawn Porter , Porter-Malignaggi , Porter vs. Malignaggi