Paul Malignaggi boxed one of the most disciplined and effective matches of his career, out-jabbing, outworking and out-thinking fellow veteran Zab Judah over 12 rounds to earn a lopsided unanimous decision by scores of 116-111 and 117-110 (twice) on Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Malignaggi (33-5, 7 knockouts) suffered a flash knockdown in the second round but for most of the fight he was the ring general by working his educated jab, advancing with intelligence and working Judah’s body from angles when in close. The 33-year-old former 140- and 147-pound titleholder also landed his right hand throughout the fight.
Judah (42-9, 29 KOs) on the other hand was reduced to merely looking to land his vaunted let hand. He seemed frustrated and at times intimidated by Malignaggi’s movement, timing and workrate.
“It was a different fight than I thought it would be,” Judah told Showtime’s Jim Gray after the fight. “He stayed on the outside and used his speed and got away. Paulie did a good job using his lateral movement.”
Malignaggi was pleased with his peformance against the 36-year-old former unified welterweight champ and multiple 140-pound beltholder.
“There was a lot of pressure fighting at home,” said Malignaggi, who acknowledged that his gameplan was to outhustle and press the more gifted fighter. “I felt I had to be (busier). Judah is a bigger puncher, so I tried to back him up all fight.”
Malignaggi was bale to do that, which made Judah — who was formidable while dropping a competitive decision to junior welterwieght champ Danny Garcia in his last fight — look his age.
A full ringside report from Tim Smith will be posted shortly.