This game televised by HBO will begin at 9:45 ET this Saturday night, and Bad Left Hook will be here for a live, every round coverage and scoring of the bouts.
I’m not going to promote it like this is a great card. It’s not — but it’s a must see bunch of great fights and deserves the boxing fan’s attention for sure.
Paulie Malignaggi (12 Rounds, 138.5-pound catchweight)
This (ridiculous) catchweight bout features junior welterweight fringe contender Malignaggi and former lightweight titlist Juan Diaz meeting in the middle in a bit of a crossroads bout for Diaz and a make-or-break fight for Paulie. Since losing to Hatton, he has fought just once, beating unheralded Christopher Fernandez over eight rounds in April of this year.
Diaz (34-2, 17 KO) has lost two of his last three, getting upset in 2008 by Nate Campbell and knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in February of this year, a Fight of the Year contender that we’ll be remember for a long time. In between losses, he dominated Michael Katsidis in a fight that was mind-bogglingly scored for Katsidis by judge Glen Hamada, something I still can’t get over.
What we have here is a matchup between a fighter that lives and dies on speed and technique (Malignaggi) and one that lives and dies on pressure and keeping his guts unchecked. Campbell and Marquez put him to the test, and he came up short both times. What I doubt is his ability to persevere when challenged by a top opponent.
But the real problem Malignaggi is going to have is the problem he usually has: He can’t punch for beans. Hatton and Cotto showed Malignaggi no respect and put the hurt on him.
Pick: Juan Diaz by dominant unanimous decision
Malcolm Klassen v.
He’ll be defending his title against Golden Boy’s Guerrero in just his second fight outside of his home country (he fought in London in 2002).
Klassen (24-4-2, 15 KO) doesn’t have the prettiest record, but keep in mind he started his career 7-3-1, and since then has gone 17-1-1, with a six-round draw against Jeffey Mathebula at 122 pounds and a split decision loss to Mzonke Fana his only blemishes since the early struggles.
The last time we saw Guerrero on TV, he was part of the disappointing Kirkland-Julio Boxing After Dark, facing Daud Yordan. Guerrero was cut and decided to quit in the second round rather than seeing if his corner could do anything to fix the gash, ending the bout in a no-contest.
There are times when he looks like an absolute wrecking ball, with back-to-back destructive wins over Martin Honorio (TKO-1) and Jason Litzau (KO-8 in a fight in which Guerrero won every minute). Other times, he seems somewhat unmotivated and vulnerable.
Klassen is on a roll, has never been stopped, and Guerrero can run hot and cold.
Daniel Jacobs v.
In short, Jacobs and Golden Boy have some real guts matching the explosive young Jacobs with Smith, who is very hard to look good against and can be a tough nut to crack. He also has a great chin. Jacobs went the full eight rounds with Michael Walker in May, and then took eight to end George Walton in a one-sided fight in June. So far in 2009, Jacobs is 4-0 with three stoppages. I think he wins this fight on pure physical talent, but we’re going to see him struggle, and he’s not going to be the first guy to stop Smith.
George is a Renowned Sports Writer which discusses current sports highlights, Watch Juan Diaz Vs. Paul Malignaggi Free Live Online Stream