Convicted Artist Magazine

May 25th
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malignaggi-trout-tarver-boxingTarver wins his comeback bout, and Malignaggi gets a big win over Zab Judah.  The two fighters known as magic men are still magical.  Now, Malignaggi did not capture a real belt in this win, yet in a division swimming with 'Money' makers, he has now made his best case to earn even more of it.  In a night of surprises and upsets, this one was probably the most expected of the least expected.  Zab Judah is just not the kind of fighter to trouble Malignaggi... at least not now.
Not to take anything away from Paulie's dominant win, but Zab definitely looked as if he had lost a step or two.  Malgnaggi is no spring chicken, but seems to be closer to his prime than Zab.  He out-boxed him, and had superior reflexes throughout.  Judah's power edge never figured in, not only because Paulie has a better chin, but because Judah was not willing to make it messy.  Up next could be a bout with Garcia moving up to 147.  It could also be a rematch with Broner.  It could even be a unification with Shawn Porter.  By themselves, neither man makes a case for a Floyd fight, but if they were to unify belts, a fall showdown with the "Money" Man would not be such a strange event.
Porter pulled off an impressive upset by being the first fighter to even attempt, much less succeed at, duplicating the style with which Tim Bradley defeated Devon Alexander.  Once again, one fight short of the big paydays, Devon falls short.  Again, it was to a shorter fighter, with a good jab, bull-rushing head, tight body attack, and awkward timing.  Porter now stands in a great position, as he won impressively, but still did not look like a world beater.  Khan is probably kicking himself for not taking that fight, as if had he fought that Devon Alexander, and won... he'd be an unquestionable candidate for the Floyd fight, instead of a fan-hated choice.
Bika and Dirrell fought well, but like Froch and Groves, completely disqualified themselves from the Andre Ward sweepstakes.  Dirrell is still not accustomed fighting lost distances, and Bika is still dirty, awkward and durable.  There needs to be a lot of rematches at 168, including Oosthuizen-Gonzales... to see who really stands out.  Ward should simply have a cash-out fight with Chavez and move up.  However, it is clear that 168 will remain quite interesting without him.
For Austin Trout, he is a likeable person, but is starting to forget what kind of fighter he is.  He is 26-0 when boxing and moving.  He is 0-2 when pursuing.  True, he was facing the two best fighters he ever faced when doing so, but he didn't even make a stand on who was going to be a counterpuncher.  He simply made the bad decision to come forward, and paid the price.  No back up plan in sight either.  For Lara, he looked a career best, and now we can all sit back and watch as Canelo's people try desperately to avoid that fight.

Chris Strait

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