Paulie Malignaggi believes that the fact there are so many undefeated stars at super middleweight highlights a fundamental problem in boxing in that the best are not fighting the best frequently enough.

In his career, Malignaggi boxed Shawn Porter, Zab Judah, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Juan Diaz, and other top stars, and he has called for the top 168-pounders to face one another.

Diego Pacheco is 20-0, Jaime Munguia is 43-0, Edgar Berlanga is 21-0, David Morrell is 10-0, Christian Mbilli is 26-0, Jermall Charlo is 33-0 and David Benavidez is 28-0. The division goes deeper than that, too, but many are in a holding pattern hoping to land boxing’s most lucrative fight, against Canelo Alvarez.

“Talking about the super middleweight division, this weight class is sort of a microcosm of a lot of problems,” Malignaggi explained. “The biggest problem is this, all the money is in Canelo Alvarez, but the best fight is probably Benavidez versus Morrell. 

“Who are actually the top two guys in this weight class? Probably Benavidez and Morrell. I think they both beat Canelo. 

“It’s funny because all the money is around Canelo, so everything revolves around Canelo and this is why the sport is ass backwards. If you think about it, the NBA doesn’t put the Knicks against the Lakers every year in the finals just because it’s the two biggest markets.

“Sometimes you’re going to throw in the Raptors in the final, sometimes you get a Dallas Mavericks in the final, sometimes you get a Detroit Pistons in the final… you know. But boxing always wants to make the Lakers and the Knicks, and if it can’t make the Lakers and the Knicks, they’ll just make one of the playoff contenders take on a team that is nowhere near a playoff spot. 

“It’s a draft lottery and these are the fights they’re making instead, while the whole time trying to get the Lakers and the Knicks in the final against each other. 

“That’s not how a sport works.”

Malignaggi is well familiar with the business of boxing, having had 44 fights in 16 years, fighting in Italy, the UK, the US, Ukraine, and Canada. 

“This is manipulation at its best, and this is why we have problems,” he continued. “We have a weight class where there are so many undefeated guys; too many undefeated guys. 

“That means they’re not fighting each other. That’s a problem. You have all these undefeated guys in one weight class, why are you all undefeated?

“Why isn’t anyone fighting each other?”