Malignaggi passes tough test; Retains IBF title with UD victory over Ngoudjo
By Phil Santos, (Jan 6, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)  
IBF Junior Welterweight champ Paul “The Magic Man” Malignaggi survived against a tougher than expected Herman “The Black Panther” Ngoudjo to retain his belt Saturday night on Showtime. A heavy favorite entering the bout Malignaggi did his best work early on utilizing his superior footwork and hand speed to take the first few rounds.

By the middle rounds the champions’ initial success began to fade. Ngoudjo started to land flush, hard shots at one point visibly stunning Malignaggi. It appeared that the momentum was shifting in Ngoudjos’ favor. The challenger seemed to
have Malignaggi reeling after eating some heavy leather and it was Ngoudjo who was picking up the work rate not the usually busy Malignaggi.

Ngoudjo had done some damage, with an effective right hand, opening a cut over the right eye of Malignaggi. “The Magic Man” settled in because, after all, he is no stranger to a tough fight having gone the distance with Miguel Cotto in 2006 and suffering a broken orbital bone in the process. Malignaggi endured the best of what Ngoudjo could throw at him, never appeared rattled, and carried out his game plan to near perfection.

Herman Ngoudjo made the mistake of being too tentative and allowed Malignaggi to steal the early rounds by simply outworking him. Wisely Malignaggi put the early rounds in the bank and dug a hole that Ngoudjo, who isn’t a huge puncher, just couldn’t dig himself out of.

In what turned out to be a fairly entertaining fight Malignaggi did what it took to best a difficult opponent who gave him all he could handle. My scorecard read 115-113 in favor of Malignaggi. This was a good fight and a difficult one to score as is evident by the judges’ scores of 115-113, 116-113,
and 117-111.

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