Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roach says he never considered Malignaggi for Pacquiao fight

Pacquiao vs ClotteyBy William Mackay: In an interview at Fightfan, Freddie Roach, the trainer for Manny Pacquiao, has some harsh words about former International Boxing Federation light welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. Roach says “We have to fight challengers out there. Mayweather didn’t happen and we couldn’t pick Paulie Malignaggi. You know he’s a little stiff.” Roach probably wasn’t referring to the way that Malignaggi fights when he said “he’s a little stiff.” In translation for fans that don’t understand what Roach might be saying when he mentions Malignaggi being stiff. What he’s saying is that Malignaggi isn’t that good a fighter.

In the same interview, Roach says this: “Malignaggi is one of those little guys with big mouths but can’t fight. We have to fight a quality opponent.” Roach and Top Rank were forced to look for another opponent for Pacquiao after his talks with Floyd Mayweather Jr. collapsed because of the struggle over the random blood tests. A number of names were mentioned immediately in the media as potential opponents to step in for Mayweather against Pacquiao. One of the names mentioned was Malignaggi.

If Roach and Top Rank had settled on Malignaggi as being the ultimate replacement for Mayweather, there likely would have been a huge amount of criticism by boxing fans, because many of them would see Malignaggi as having little chance against Pacquiao. As it is, the ultimate selection of Joshua Clottey hasn’t been well received either, considering that Clottey was recently defeated in his last fight against Miguel Cotto.

However, Malignaggi, a light welterweight who has lost two out of his last four fights and struggled to beat fighters like Herman Ngoudjo and Lovemore N’dou, it would have likely angered a lot of fans if Malignaggi was selected to fight Pacquiao.

Malignaggi was stopped in the 11th round by Ricky Hatton in 2008, and was beaten last year by Juan Diaz in a 12 round decision loss. Malignaggi gave Cotto some problems in a 12 round decision loss in 2006, but he still ended up losing and taking a great deal of punishment in the process. If Cotto had been able to do that kind of damage to Malignaggi, one could only guess how badly Pacquiao would have beaten him if the two had fought.

It wouldn’t have been entertaining unless you like to watch a slaughter. Pacquiao might have some problems catching up to the Malignaggi, but sooner or later he would have found him and give him a ferocious beating.


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