Paul Malignaggi: One fight at a time from here on out
Fighters fight. They are who they are; it is what they do. It is fundamental to their being.
Now and again – OK, maybe most of the time – some of the best go on what some watchers might deem “too long.”
Past their prime, beyond their sub-prime, warriors toil and continue to return to the site of past glories, seeking to recapture that fleeting feeling when they were at the apex of physicality. As for all of us, delusion sometimes subs in for reality and it helps us all cope…
I see that desire, to fight on past a point of majority endorsements of the mission, as being wholly understandable and the older I get, the better I grasp it.
One life. One shot. Must wring every bit of zest from every opportunity. Must battle on, despite odds stacked against, despite maybe even a sneaking suspicion that the end is near.
Fighters fight and, on Saturday, Paul Malignaggi will do just that. He will do so on a smaller stage than he’s seen in many a moon, Teatro Principe, a club in Milan, Italy.
Yes, the stage is smaller; the foe is not a household name outside his own house. 27-21-1 Lazslo Fazekas will be across from Malignaggi, a capable analyst for Showtime.
They made weight Friday; Paulie’s adviser Anthony Catanzaro told me. “Nice buzz here,” he said. “We finished camp in Marbella [Spain], Matthew Macklin’s gym; we sold out the venue. As far as him fighting on, he is in a good place and he still has the edge. We are family and I will always be by his side!”
And will it be one and done…Is this a back-to-the-roots bye-bye…or does Paulie hope to get back to a grander stage for…one…last…shot?
“One fight at a time,” said Catanzaro.
Malignaggi is 34 (35 in November), the fighting pride of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and if he were to take the advice of Twitter, he’d maybe hang up the gloves. Nope…He’s stubborn. It’s served him well as he’s wrung more out of his brittle hands than he had any right to. Won a couple titles. Actually boxed decently against younger gun Danny Garcia in many portions of quite a few rounds in his last outing, on Aug. 1 in Brooklyn.
After ref Arthur Mercante Jr. pulled the plug on Paulie, in round nine, the “Magic Man” stood center ring and all but announced he was retiring.
Outlets ran with that angle but some knew better. A guy leaves the door open a inch, it might as well be a yard…
Saturday, retirement from in-ring work can wait; Paul Malignaggi, thoroughly a fighter tip to top, will be doing what he was born to do. Like most high-grade fighters, it has served him well. That might not always be the case but it is fully his life to live and he’s certainly earned the right to do as he sees fit.
Woodsy’ll hold Brooklyn down while Paulie’s outta town. Oh, and he’ll tweet too.