Amir Khan lives up to his Word; Makes Paulie Malignaggi pay for His
By Brandon Estrict at ringside (May 18, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Amir Khan’s version of Coming to America wasn’t all fun and games, but the end result was something even Eddie Murphy would applaud.

‘King’ Khan, 23-1 (17), came to New York City, found what he wanted, and conquered ‘The Magic Man’ Paulie Malignaggi, stopping him in the 11th round. Khan dominated, sweeping every round on official judges’ scorecards, by utilizing his superior speed and size.

Malignaggi, 27-4 (5), had his face reddened and swollen by Khan’s jab and right hand just one minute into the fight, and was bleeding from small abrasions by round 3. He fought valiantly, but was outgunned in every department and couldn’t land anything to gain the younger Khan’s respect or force him to think twice about coming in.

Khan, oft-criticized for his chin, didn’t have much to worry about to begin with. Malignaggi is notorious for his lack of punching power (16% KO ratio in 31 professional fights).

Malignaggi had some moments, early in the fight, where he appeared to have adjusted his distance and managed to avoid punches he’d been hit with previously, but still wasn’t able to find a consistent home for his shots. The brief moment came and went after a hard body shot hurt Malignaggi and round six. A left hook to the pit of the stomach doubled him over and Paulie went down to the canvas when Khan leaned on his neck. Referee Steve Smoger ruled that it wasn’t a knockdown, but the blow effectively ended any chance Paulie had at getting back into the fight.

Khan continued his assault, repeated snapping his challenger’s head back with hard jabs, hooks and straights. The atmosphere at The Garden was more of a pro wrestling crowd than a boxing crowd, as passionate fans of both fighters attempted to steal the show after every round. About 10 people were escorted out of the building following at least a half a dozen altercations outside of the ring. Paulie, as brave as he was, may have been hoping one of those supporters made a run-in and helped him out at some point, as Khan continued his assault inside the squared circle.

After the 10th round, Paulie needed 20 extra seconds to convince the ringside physician to let him continue. He was granted that opportunity, but it was academic as Smoger waved things off 1:25 into the 11th round after another Khan flurry as Malignaggi was pinned to the ropes.

For Khan, the win is the second biggest of his career but possibly the most important and most gratifying. He was dominant in his first fight on American soil and took it to Paulie after a lot of trash-talk during the promotion, which culminated in an ugly scene at the pre-fight weigh-in the day before. The weigh-in, which was supposed to be private and held at Madison Square Garden, was held at a hotel in NYC. Team Malignaggi walked into hostile territory, as rabid Khan supporters awaited in large numbers. After both men made weight, they began to jaw at each other during the traditional staredown. Things turned physical when Amir shoved Paulie, allegedly after a nasty comment he’d made that I’m not at liberty to share. Khan took that anger into the ring, but didn’t allow it to throw him off of his game.

After the fight, Khan called for a fight with Marcos Maidana next, the Colombian power-puncher he’d been accused of ducking. Khan would also like to see the world’s number one rated junior welterweight, Timothy Bradley, take on the man considered to be number two or three depending on where you look, Devon Alexander, with the winners of both bouts to meet each other. Whether or not this comes to fruition or Khan does indeed take a fight with Maidana remains to be seen.

For Malignaggi, it looks like the end of the line at this level. The general consensus ringside was he may want to consider retirement, but Paulie wouldn’t hint at what may be next for him at this time.


In the co-feature, ‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz, 27-2-1 (21), handled aging former lightweight champion, Nate Campbell, over 10 easy, if not dull, rounds.

Ortiz takes another step toward rebuilding his image to the public as one of boxings next big things after his KO loss to the aforementioned Maidana. The fight was a brutal, knockdown-drag out affair that saw both men taste canvas multiple times. It wasn’t losing as much as the way he lost and what he said after that loss that hurt Ortiz’s stock with hardcore fans. Victor seemed to give up after taking a huge right hand, and questioned if he wanted to continue fighting and taking punishment.

This fight didn’t quite erase the memory of his most ardent critics, but it was a good start against a serviceable name. Nate may not be what he once was, but Ortiz fought a perfect fight and took clean shots well when he had to, which was infrequently.

Campbell, 33-6-1 (25), announced his retirement immediately following the fight. Post-fight is an emotional time for a fighter and history has shown, ironically even with Ortiz, that things said in that moment aren’t always meant. Only time will tell where he goes, but it’s been a tremendous run for ‘The Galaxy Warrior’ especially in the later part of his career and we wish him the best.


Danny Jacobs, Brooklyn, NY, remained unbeaten, stopping Juan Astorga in the second round with punishing left hooks to the body.

Former Khan conqueror, Breidis Prescott, 22-2 (19), stopped Jason Davis in the third round.

Denis ‘Momma’s Boy’ Douglin scored a second round TKO over Joshua Onyango, to run his record to 9-0 (5).

In a battle of unbeaten prospects, NYC’s Tor Hammer lost his 0 to Kelvin Price of Pensacola, Fl in a disputed split-decision. Tor falls to 11-1 (8) as Price improves to 7-0 (4).

Freddie Roach’s latest charge Jamie Kavanagh, fighting out of Los Angeles Wild Card Boxing Club by way of Ireland, made his pro debut. He was impressive in stopping William Ware in two rounds.

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