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The Boxing Weekend: Amir Khan – Paulie Malignaggi Headline


By Geno McGahee


ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights

Former IBF Lightweight Champion, Julio “The Kidd” Diaz, 36-6, 26 KO’s, will be headlining ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights when he takes on Herman Ngoudjo, 18-3, 10 KO’s, in a ten round bout. Diaz has never been able to be successful against the upper class of boxing, losing by TKO to both Jose Luis Castillo and Juan Diaz, and the road seems to be coming to an end at the young age of 30 with three losses in his last five fights. Two of his last three defeats have been by stoppage.

Ngoudjo has also failed against the upper echelon of boxing, losing to Juan Urango, Jose Luis Castillo, and Paulie Malignaggi. A case can be made in the Castillo fight for sure, as most observers considered Ngoudjo the clear winner. He did manage to defeat Randall Bailey and is a much younger 30 than Diaz. This should be a good toe to toe battle with Ngoudjo claiming the win.


Showtime’s SHOBOX presents a very interesting main event this Friday night with the WBO Light Middleweight Championships hanging in the balance. Sergiy Dzinziruk, 36-0, 22 KO’s, takes on the challenge of Daniel Dawson, 34-1, 24 KO’s, in a 12 round bout. Dzinziruk will be making his sixth title defense and has beaten some notable fighters in Joel Julio and Daniel Santos. Dawson may be a little green for a title shot when you look at just who he has faced. His career victories were over mediocrities and his lone defeat was against an undefeated prospect. The collective record of his last five opponents, leading into this title challenge has been 84 wins, 57 losses, and 4 draws. He may be in for a rude awakening when he takes on the champ.

Power-punching cruiserweight, Lateef Kayode, 11-0, 10 KO’s, will be facing a slight risk against another power-puncher in Jose Luis Herrera, 16-6, 15 KO’s, in an eight round bout. Kayode is another fighter that has not taken on anyone of note. His list of opponents are even worse than Dawson’s. The opponent has been put in tough, losing to BJ Flores and Tavoris Cloud. He seems to be made of tougher stuff than the victims of Kayode thus far in his career. We might be in for a fun slugfest.



HBO presents a good double header that should make up for the mess that was Paul Williams-Kermit Cintron last week. In the main event, we will see Amir Khan, 22-1, 16 KO’s, the current WBA Light Welterweight Champion, take on the feather-fisted challenge of Paulie Malignaggi, 27-3, 5 KO’s. There are questions surrounding Khan, but few expect them to be answered Saturday night. It’s hard to imagine Malignaggi putting a dent in even a fragile chin, which some contend that Khan most certainly has, pointing to a first round KO loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008. Khan rebounded, defeated Marco Antonio Barrera and destroyed Dmitriy Salita in one minute and sixteen seconds of the very first round in his last defense. Khan should have little trouble beating Malignaggi.

Malignaggi earned this shot with a victory over Juan Diaz, and has been in with the best including Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, losing to both, but Khan is a special fighter with power in both hands and Malignaggi has never seen anything like him before. Expect Khan to blitz early and score an early KO win.

The supporting bout is the more interesting one as Victor Ortiz, 26-2-1, 21 KO’s, takes on the grizzled veteran, Nate Campbell, 33-5-1, 25 KO’s, in a 12 round showdown. Ortiz was on the fast track to superstardom when he met up with Marcos Maidana, losing via TKO in six, in a slugfest. He returned with back to back KO wins and hopes to add a big name to his record.

Campbell has had a long history in the sport and plans to prove that he still has it at 38 years of age. He hasn’t lost since 2006, had a shot at Timothy Bradley for the WBO title in 2009 but came up short due to a cut, leading to a no contest. He holds wins over Ali Funeka and Juan Diaz and packs a big punch. He will try to use that big punch to keep Ortiz off as he comes forward aggressively. Don’t go to the fridge on this one.

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