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Diaz outpoints Malignaggi in Houston

Debatable decision, of course. Controversy surrounding Gale Van Hoy's scorecard, but this reporter does not see any controversy in the verdict.

Juan Diaz W12 Paulie Malignaggi... As I was lounging in my Fairfield Inn hotel room at the after party of a wedding that took place on Saturday, I still managed to catch the fight between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi in its entirety on HBO. Juan Diaz won a debatable unanimous decision over Paulie Malignaggi, in a fight that took place in Diaz's hometown of Houston, TX.

Visibly infuriated with the decision, Malignaggi launched off into a tirade against the politics of boxing, Golden Boy Promotions (company that promotes Diaz), and the judges in his post fight interview with Max Kellerman.

The three official ringside judges were Raul Caiz, Gale Van Hoy, and David Sutherland. Caiz and Sutherland scored the bout 115-113 and 116-112 respectively. HBO's unofficial ringside judge Harold Lederman finished with a final tally of 115-113 in favor of Malignaggi. BoxingChronicles.com scored the fight 114-114; there was no clear winner from this reporter's judgement. Perhaps what drummed up the most controversy was not necessarily the verdict itself, but Van Hoy's inexplicable score of 118-110 in favor of Diaz. Anybody who scored this fight in the neighborhood of 115-113 for either fighter was within the correct ball park. Those who are crying robbery are acting as though Malignaggi practically pitched a shut out over Diaz and unjustifiably lost the decision.

Did the outcome of this fight truly rank amongst some of the greatest robberies of all time such as Lennox Lewis's draw against Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker's draw against Julio Cesar Chavez, Shannon Brigg's decision win over George Foreman, and going back even further in history, Joe Louis's ridiculously corrupt split decision over Jersey Joe Walcott in 1947? No - not even close!

While there were certain rounds in which Malignaggi wisely used his reach advantage and ring generalship to outbox Diaz from the outside, there were also rounds in which Diaz engaged Malignaggi at close quarters and did more damage on the inside than many observers gave him credit for. There were about six rounds in which Malignaggi boxed really well, and six rounds in which Diaz punished him inside. This was really a case of Malignaggi performing much better than he has over the past three years and Diaz not looking as sharp or impressive as one might have initially predicted. The result was in fact debatable, but this observer still finds it difficult to label it a robbery.

At the end of the day both combatants will come away from this experience with their stocks elevated, as they battled hard and fought their hearts out which made for a crowd pleasing affair. Whenever there is a fight in which both pugilists are giving such tremendous accounts of themselves in a fiercely contested match, networks are going to want to bring them back for future shows and fans are going to want to pay to see them fight again.

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