Malignaggi and Camarena Face Off At Foxwoods
By Alex Pierpaoli
originally published 2/10/06 on KOFantasyBoxing.com
The fleet fisted Paul Malignaggi comes to foxwoods casino in Ledyard, CT tonight in ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights Main Event. Malignaggi meets Donald Camarena in a 12 round junior welterweight contest for something called the WBC Continental Americas title which belongs to Camarena. Paul Malignaggi who is undefeated at 20-0 (5), is making his first fight since having surgery on his right hand, after his second break and as many surgeries. Donald Camarena is 16-1 (9), and the Malignaggi bout will be his second defense of his regional title.
On Wednesday afternoon, at a press luncheon at Foxwoods, promoter Lou Dibella mentioned his fighter’s flawed mitts before introducing the New Yorker whose fists are almost as fast as his lips.
“I think if his hand holds up the sky is the limit,” said DiBella. “Paulie do you wanna say ahh…I don’t even have to ask him. Paulie.” DiBella gestured for Malignaggi to step up to the mike.
Paul Malignaggi looks like a fistic version of Eminem crossed with one of the brothers, either one, from Sal’s Famous Pizzeria in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.
“What’s up everybody,” Malignaggi began. “I just got here and I was kinda sleeping in the car so I’m just waking up a little bit. But I’m glad to be here I’m glad to be back on national TV. Like Lou said I wanted a tough fight coming back… I’m gonna tone down my shtick. I was planning on saying a lot of things but really he[Camarena] was nice enough to be kind–like he wasn’t so on the internet–so I’ll be kind back… You got 2 good fighters in the main event… and you got two 2 good fighters in the co-feature… It’s gonna be a magic show!”
With that the press conference segment of the luncheon ended and the fighters met in front of the press table to square off and pose for photos. After that KOFantasyBoxing had a chance to speak with the combatants. Mr. Malignaggi was first up:
Are you ready for this match up?
Yeah. Ready as I can be, man. Very sharp. Coming in, I’m the sharpest I’ve been in a while.
What does the next day or so hold for you?
Just rest; you know. Make sure I stay on weight. I’m on weight right now so just make sure I hold and maintain the weight. Nothing crazy just, you know, rest and make weight.
What do you foresee in this fight? What do you think he’s going to bring?
He’s a technical fighter just like myself. I think he’s gonna look for the same things I look for so it’s a matter of who can execute their game plan better. I got the faster hands. For sure. Without a doubt. So it’s gonna be a key factor in the fight. Look for the speed to take over and make him a little gun-shy as the fight goes on and me taking over.
You think he’s going to be hesitating because of that speed?
As the fight goes on he’s going to be hesitating. He’s gonna respect it from the start cuz he has to respect it. You already know I’m fast coming into the fight but as he gets a taste of it he’s gonna get more hesitant and pretty much the same things happen to all my opponents. He’ll get gun-shy and he’ll either cruise to a losing every round decision or if he tries too hard he’ll get stopped, you know?
When you get a situation like that when you’ve got a guy who knows he can’t win, he’s sort of coastingﾗ
And he can’t pull the trigger? Yeah well that’s what happens a lot of times. Well, I don’t give them the opening that they want either. Cuz they also wanna get lucky. So I’m not gonna put myself in position to make a guy get lucky. Sometimes it doesn’t make the most exciting fight. Cuz a guy is just trying to survive and I’m not putting so much pressure I’m doing what I have to do to just maintain what I gotta do… But if the fight doesn’t go that way I’ll be smart about it. I take what I see. I’m a smart fighter and I’m thinking all the time. Sometimes you don’t think it because I’m clowning so much but
I’m thinking in there. Everything is calculated, man. You’ll see
I’m not thinking ahead obviously because the fight is so close… This is a big fight… so you can’t get ahead of yourself too much… I’m gonna have a big 2006… I want big fights. I belong among the top fighters in this weight class. Super stardom is waitin’ for me and I’m looking to get there, you know what I’m saying?
Who are you listening to? [Malignaggi is wearing earphones attached to an i-pod.]
Right now just listening to eighties rock. I do just slow music on the day before the fight. Then on the day of the fight I listen to hard rap
Do you know who you are coming into the ring to?
I’m coming with Young Jeezy. Trap Star. Hard rap; but the day before I gotta stay calm.
We both laugh and shake hands and I thank him for the interview.
Undefeated in twenty fights as a pro, Malignaggi has a lot on the line in the main event.
Perhaps in the ring, Camarena and Malignaggi have similar styles, but the similar skills do not include interview. Comparatively, Camarena is concise and focused in contrast to Malignaggi’s overwhelming verbal flurries of description and detail.
“I’m gonna box him,” said Camarena. “He’s seen me fight, he knows. He even said that it’s gonna be a chess match.”
Camarena won the WBC Continental Americas trinket back in April of 2005 with a decision win over James Crayton. Before that Camarena acquired the WBC Youth Light Welterweight title with a decision over the cagey Marteze Logan in November of 2004.
A veteran of over sixty fights; 31-25-6 (16), Emanuel Augustus is coming off a close decision loss to Herman Ngoudjo back in October in Montreal. Trainer Roberto Campos thinks Augustus was the victim of a bad hometown decision for the transplanted Cameroon-Canadian, Ngoudjo on that night. But this time Augustus settles for opponent-type opposition in Jaime Rangel after original foe, Ghana’s Emmanuel Clottey pulled out of the ESPN2 date.
KOFantasy Boxing readers had cast their votes on a potential Clottey-Augustus bout and as visible below, Clottey was favored to emerge the winner.
Who will win: Emmanuel Clottey versus Emanuel Augustus?
Augustus by Decision 42%
Clottey by Knockout 16%
Clottey by Decision 42%
But perhaps with tonight’s new opponent, fans might think better of Augustus’ chances. Jaime Rangel’s record is a decent looking 30-8-1 (26) on paper but he’s coming off of 4 straight losses, two of them by knockout. Both fighters are in a must win situation.
KOFantasyBoxing caught up with Emanuel Augustus and got his views on tonight’s fight. Here’s an excerpt:
“I am looking forward to better things such as to fight Mayweather if ever he manages to come back down to one forty. But other than that if I can’t get him down then I would like to get my hands on Ricky Hatton. That’s my vision. But as far as the fight itself, you know I just have to use speed and use my footwork a little bit, you know? I’m in shape. I really don’t know what this guy has to offer. But if he makes mistakes man I gotta be able to capitalize on the mistakes that he makes. Again, I don’t know nothing about him I really don’t care to know nothing about him before the fight. When the fight happens I’ll get everything I need to know then But like I said, me and Robert Campos have been working real hard, man. I’ve been getting all my stuff together and basically people are gonna see in this fight Friday they’re gonna see more of a serious side I’m gonna save the clowning for like later on in the fight but only if I’m ahead. You know what I mean? There’s no sense in making any awkward movements if I’m not already ahead in the fightﾅ To all your fans out there, and all my fans, and all your readers as well; check out the fight. It’s gonna be a good fight and keep your eyes open for me later on getting that fight with either Ricky Hatton or Floyd Mayweather.”
Is Jaime Rangel here to spoil Emanuel Augustus’ vision? Can Paul Malignaggi remain undefeated in the face of Donald Camarena’s challenge?
All questions will be answered tonight on ESPN2 at 9PM (ET). Tune in to find out.
Send comments or questions to Alex Pierpaoli at: KOFantasyBoxing@gmail.com