IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had an affinity for Paulie Malignaggi ever since I interviewed him back in 2004 at a press conference and informed him that I was a better fighter than he was. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help it! The guy was so brash at such an early stage in his career, and yet completely insistent that he was the best boxer from New York. I wanted to push his buttons a little.
Luckily, the Brooklynite was as good-natured as he was loquacious, as we shared a good laugh and Ã¢â‚¬â€œ thank God! Ã¢â‚¬â€œ he declined to test my pugilistic abilities. (The only fights I have are with my landlady over how high to raise the thermostat)
The highly anticipated war between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto went down on Saturday night pretty much as I expected, but it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean that PacquiaoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s victory was any less striking or significant.
It turns out I was right about Floyd Mayweather winning his match against Juan Manuel Marquez by decision, and also that MarquezÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history of being a slow starter would hurt him, as Floyd downed him in the second round and dominated the early portion of the fight. But what I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t right about is that Marquez would make an impact in the middle rounds, as he was pretty much completely shut out.
I knew Floyd was bigger than Marquez, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect him to show up two pounds heavier than the catch weight at the weigh-in, a significant amount. He had to pay per pound to allow the fight to go off. And though Floyd doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fight like a big man, using his fluidity and quickness to his benefit, he obviously used his size advantage.
Mayweather lost a deal of respect by being either unable or unwilling to make weight, essentially making this a fight between a good big man and a good small man. The good small man never wins that fight. This isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the Tour De France.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll make this brief since I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think I could tell you any more than the brilliant 24/7 series has on HBO: Juan Manuel Marquez will not defeat Floyd Mayweather this Saturday night.
But heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give Floyd a tough time.