Inside Fights will have live coverage of the rematch between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi starting tonight at 10:15 pm EST. Tune in for round-by-round updates as well as coverage of the undercard bout between Victor Ortiz and Antonio Diaz.
We pick it up from Chicago.
Earlier, Max Kellerman interviewed Victor Ortiz about quitting in his last fight with Marcos Maidana. Ortiz brushes it off and says it’s a new fight and a new training camp. Ortiz says pain is a price you pay in boxing.
Victor Ortiz vs. Antonio Diaz
ROUND 1: Ortiz sneaks a jab. Diaz gets in a straight right. Ortiz lands a straight left but catches a left hook from Diaz. Ortiz lands another straight left. They are fighting very cautiously for two guys known for action. Ortiz with a jab but misses the left. The crowd boos at the bell.
ROUND 2: Diaz lands a body shot. Ortiz pops a straight left. Jab to the body by Ortiz. They trade jabs. Ortiz starts tearing into Diaz with big shots, knocking his head around. He takes his foot off the gas as Diaz manages to escape. Diaz misses some wide shots, and Ortiz dances away. Ortiz gets in an uppercut as Diaz ducks into it. Diaz lands a left hook and a right hand but gets warned for a low blow by Referee Gerald Scott. Ortiz lands two straight lefts and avoids the counter right. Very good round for Ortiz.
ROUND 3: Ortiz lands a hard left. Another left lands for Ortiz, who holds on to stop Diaz from counter-punching. Scott accidentally pushes Ortiz to the canvas when separating the fighters, but Ortiz gets right back up. Ortiz lands a big left but eats a combination to the face. Ortiz fires back with a left hand, and Diaz hits the canvas, sliding into the ropes. Diaz manages to beat the count. When the action picks up, Ortiz jumps on Diaz, but Diaz holds. Ortiz scores with another big left. Two more lefts land as he pounds Diaz into the ropes, but Diaz again holds. Diaz’ mouth is hanging open now, but he lands a counter right to the face as Ortiz attacks. Diaz winds his arms up and takes an uppercut while his guard is down. Another dominant round for Ortiz.
ROUND 4: Replays show that Ortiz was even off-balance when he scored the knockdown and caught a left hook simultaneously. Diaz lands a straight right to the face, but Ortiz slides away. Diaz lands a body shot, but Ortiz pulls away from the right upstairs. Ortiz is very methodical, slowing his pace in this round. Diaz gets in a right to the face, and they slug it out, with Ortiz landing two left hands to the head. Diaz gets in a right but isn’t hitting Ortiz with much power. Ortiz lands an uppercut and a straight left, but Diaz battles back and lands a right. Ortiz lands a body shot and a jab to end a much more competitive round.
ROUND 5: Ortiz lands an uppercut while catching a left hook. Diaz bangs a left-right combination around Ortiz’ gloves. Ortiz gets in a short left. Ortiz with a jab to the body and a few to the head. Diaz is aggressive but not effective at all. He is pressuring Ortiz but catching jabs. Diaz lands a body shot in the corner as Ortiz is throwing less. Ortiz wins a very uneventful round.
ROUND 6: Diaz has a small cut over his left eye. Ortiz lands a good jab. Ortiz gets in a left, but he, too, isn’t hitting with as much power as before. Ortiz lands another jab, and they trade left hooks. Ortiz lands a straight left and one to the body. Diaz’ cut has worsened tremendously. It is pouring blood, but the ring doctor allows him to continue after Scott has Diaz checked out, though he can barely see out of it. Ortiz lands a left as the fight resumes. Ortiz with a terrific one-two to the head, and Diaz is wiping at the cut now. Ortiz lands another straight left. Diaz gets in a right that moves Ortiz back. Ortiz lands a huge straight left in return that knocks Diaz back, and Diaz frowns as the bell rings.
Diaz’ corner informs him that the cut is too big to work on and that they are stopping the fight. Ortiz comes over and embraces Diaz on his stool, and they share words. The cut is a bad one, a huge slash across his eyelid. It was indeed opened up by a right from Ortiz in the sixth round, so it goes down as a stoppage win for Ortiz.
Ortiz is not interviewed following the fight, and the focus turns to the main event.
Lennox Lewis discusses how it’s difficult to get up for a rematch when you felt you won the first fight, citing his two fights against Evander Holyfield for the undisputed Heavyweight Championship in 1999. Lewis says it could be a flat fight. Kellerman mentions that the first fight was a good one, marred only by a bad scorecard from Judge Gale Van Hoye. HBO shows footage of the first fight and even breaks down the scorecards.
Tonight, there are neutral judges, and the fight is not in Diaz’ hometown of Houston but Chicago. The ring is also bigger, which favors Malignaggi. And the catchweight is 139 rather than 138 pounds as it was last fight, which also helps Malignaggi by his own admission. Last time out, he received nothing he requested. This time, he got everything minus having the fight in his hometown.
Juan Diaz vs. Paulie Malignaggi II
Malignaggi comes out to a very quiet reaction and the sounds of Eminem’s “You Don’t Know.” The crowd boos as Malignaggi makes his way down the aisle. He taunts the crowd by strutting on the ring apron and cupping his hand to his ear, acting like he can’t hear the boos.
The crowd is definitely behind Diaz, which isn’t too big a surprise, given the way this crowd has embraced David Diaz, a native Mexican American. Completely opposite Malignaggi’s response, Diaz salutes the fans.
ROUND 1: Malignaggi has some ridiculous bright green leggings on. Malignaggi jabs the body. Malignaggi walks into a jab. Diaz gets in several more jabs, and Malignaggi tries to counter jab. Diaz knocks Malignaggi’s head back with a jab. Paulie jabs and gets in a slapping right. Malignaggi jabs the body. Diaz lands a jab. Diaz gets in a body shot and a jab upstairs, but Malignaggi bangs in a right to the head. Malignaggi lands a clean straight right. Another right lands for Malignaggi and a left hook as Diaz is ducking. Now the crowd is chanting, “Paulie.” And Paulie raises his glove to the crowd and walks around in the middle of the ring. Malignaggi nods his head and cups his hand to his ear, urging on the cheers, and Diaz does nothing until the bell. The crowd starts chanting, “Diaz” next. Strange turn of events to start.
ROUND 2: Malignaggi lands a crisp one-two to the head. The “Diaz” chants continue, and Diaz goes after Malignaggi’s body against the ropes. Paulie smacks in a left hook and nods. Diaz lands a body shot and a left hook that buckles Malignaggi into the ropes. The crowd is chanting back and forth as Paulie lands a left hook and a right. The crowd boos Malignaggi for not standing and fighting more. Malignaggi lands a body shot. He gets in a glancing uppercut and a right to the head that knocks Diaz off balance. Diaz is cut over the left eye and takes a solid right-left from Malignaggi. Diaz is creating no pressure, and Paulie is having his way for the most part.
ROUND 3: Malignaggi pops Diaz’ head up with a jab, but Diaz lands one in return. Malignaggi lands a right hand. Paulie gets in an uppercut, and Diaz lands a jab. Malignaggi with a jab to the body and a left hook. Diaz lands three hard body shots and two big left hooks upstairs. Paulie sticks his tongue out and makes faces. Diaz sticks his tongue out in return, and Malignaggi starts talking trash. Malignaggi lands two jabs but takes one. Paulie lands a straight right. Malignaggi lands a one-two with no effect. Diaz lands a jab. Malignaggi shoots combinations but hardly lands anything. Paulie works his hands and gets in a left hook. Diaz takes a jab, and they fight for the jab. Malignaggi gets in a right but gets his head knocked by a jab. Malignaggi sticks his tongue out and nods at Diaz, and they have some words for each other. Malignaggi landed far more in the round, but Diaz’ punches had much more of an effect.
ROUND 4: Diaz lands a good jab, but Malignaggi lands a one-two. Diaz lands two body shots. Diaz lands two jabs and catches a right to the head. Diaz lands another good jab. Malignaggi gets in a body shot. Diaz with two more body shots as the fans chant for him. Diaz walks into a straight right. The fans chant for Paulie now. Malignaggi beckons Diaz to fight. Paulie catches Diaz coming in with a left hook. It was another close round, but Diaz is the one landing the cleaner, harder shots, if only just barely.
ROUND 5: Diaz works Malignaggi into the corner with a body assault. Diaz steps in with a big left hook and bangs away, nailing Malignaggi with power shot after power shot. Paulie nods and sticks his tongue out and takes another big right hand from Diaz that snaps his head aside. Malignaggi fights back, but Diaz walks through it all and lands another right. Malignaggi lands a good left hook. Another left hook lands for Malignaggi, but he’s putting no power whatsoever on it. Diaz lands a jab. Diaz lands three body shots and walks through a right hand. Diaz lands another body shot to end a clear round in his favor, and they hit gloves after the bell.
ROUND 6: Malignaggi lands a jab to the body. Diaz lands a better jab to the head and then another one. Malignaggi lands a good jab upstairs now. Another one by Paulie. Diaz lands three good body shots and knocks Malignaggi’s head around with a combination upstairs. Malignaggi pushes a right to the side of Diaz’ head and just misses with an uppercut. The crowd is chanting what sounds like “Paulie sucks.” Malignaggi is busy with his hands but very inaccurate. Malignaggi lands a big uppercut that hurts Diaz. Paulie takes a moment to realize it and opens his mouth, nodding his head. Malignaggi bangs some combinations in and winds his arm up like Sugar Ray Leonard. Diaz is stunned, but Malignaggi has no idea what to do with him and poses and taunts the entire time. Malignaggi imitates Roy Jones Jr. and puts his hands behind his back, sticking his chin out to Diaz, taking the taunting to new heights in a huge round for him.
ROUND 7: Ronnie Shields tells Diaz to take round seven off. The fans are chanting for Paulie again. Paulie jabs to the body. Diaz catches two left hooks to the head coming in. Malignaggi lands a jab. Diaz eats a one-two to the face. Malignaggi pats some jabs in. Diaz finally lands a jab with a minute to go. Paulie tilts his head, taunting Diaz. Malignaggi with a jab to the body. Another jab to the body as Diaz does nothing. They trade jabs upstairs to end the round. Diaz obeyed instruction and took the round off.
ROUND 8: Diaz walks into a left hook. Malignaggi lands a short right and an uppercut. Diaz tries to go to the body, but Malignaggi clinches. Paulie lands a jab. Diaz lands a body shot and a low blow. Referee Geno Rodriguez gives Malignaggi some time. The fans boo, so Paulie appeals to the crowd, saying he got hit low. Diaz lands a good jab to the head. Paulie smacks a right in, followed by a straight right. Diaz goes to the body against the ropes and gets in a left hook and a right hand. Malignaggi fights back, landing some right hands. Diaz has words for Paulie now about him using the elbow, but Paulie nods and talks back. Diaz finishes the round strong, landing a left hook to the head and going to the body. Again, the clean blows were landed by Diaz, though Malignaggi threw a lot more.
ROUND 9: Malignaggi gets in a jab. Diaz lands his own jab and a few to the body. They fight for the jab, and Diaz knocks Paulie’s head back with one. Malignaggi clinches Diaz and walks him all the way along the ropes. The crowd boos that. Malignaggi lands two good jabs. Diaz lands a jab to the head but catches a left hook. Diaz is bleeding from the left eye and still jabbing with Malignaggi. Malignaggi clinches to keep Diaz from trying to steal the round.
ROUND 10: Malignaggi pushes Diaz aside with a glove to the head. Malignaggi lands a jab to the body. Jab to the head from Malignaggi. Diaz comes in with a good left hook, but Paulie wobbles him with a jab. Rodriguez lectures Paulie about using his forearm as Diaz regains his footing. Diaz lands a good right hand to the head. Malignaggi again winds up his glove but doesn’t throw it. Diaz gets in a chopping right to the head. Diaz gets knocked off-balance, his glove touching the canvas, but it looked like a shot over the back of the head or a slip by the way he was acting. Rodriguez surprisingly calls it a knockdown and counts Diaz. Malignaggi lands a jab before the bell and picks up a huge extra point.
ROUND 11: Replays show it was a shot to the back of the head, and Diaz’ glove hardly even grazed the canvas. He needs a big two rounds to pull out this fight. Diaz shows no urgency and continues to try to box Malignaggi. They trade jabs. Diaz gets in a left hook, followed by another one. One to the body follows. Diaz with two more chopping left hooks, but Paulie holds up his gloves to say he blocked it. He did block the second one, but he’s more concerned about saying he blocked it than fighting back. Diaz lands two more left hooks for good measure. Diaz lands a right hand, and Malignaggi poses and nods. They trade jabs. Diaz lands a few more jabs and throws a left hook to keep Malignaggi off. Malignaggi playfully pats Diaz on the head after the bell, but he dropped that round.
ROUND 12: At the very least, Diaz needs the last round as Paulie has appeared to control the majority of the fight. Diaz lands a jab and catches one in return. Diaz lands a big right hand, but Paulie takes it well. Rodriguez is close to taking a point from Paulie for using the forearm. Diaz lands another big right to the head, and Malignaggi clinches. Diaz gets out and lands several big left hooks. Diaz continues throwing only left hooks and landing them. Malignaggi starts fighting back, and a battle breaks out. Diaz bangs away at the body, trying to chop Paulie down, but it’s coming too late. The crowd is strongly behind Diaz now. Malignaggi gets in one smacking right. Diaz lands a stiff jab, but Paulie lands a left hook. Diaz lets his hands fly, and Paulie does with him until the bell. Malignaggi puts his gloves on Diaz’ head and talks to him. Malignaggi then celebrates on the top rope, while Diaz immediately has the cut on his left eye tended to.
Diaz pulled out both championship rounds big, but he was down coming into them. The early rounds that Diaz seemed to win were the closest of the fight whereas most of Malignaggi’s rounds were clear.
Inside Fights has it 114-113 for Malignaggi, thanks to the controversial knockdown.
Malignaggi wins by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 116-111, likely giving Paulie the two early rounds that were close.
Harold Lederman had it 115-112 for Malignaggi.
Malignaggi sarcastically applauds the judges and sticks his tongue out. The crowd remains quiet.
In the post-fight interview, Malignaggi says the judges got it right. Malignaggi says all he needed was a fair shake and he would win. Paulie calls out all of his “haters” and says they thought he was finished after his loss to Ricky Hatton last year. Malignaggi doesn’t want to comment on Buddy McGirt altering his style. Paulie says Diaz didn’t pressure him early, so he held his ground until he turned the pressure up. Malignaggi says the difference was his faster hands. Paulie says that junior welterweight is full of great fighters and wants to fight Juan Manuel Marquez next, with the winner going to England to fight Hatton. Malignaggi says, with his new corner, he will beat Hatton worse than Hatton beat him. That was a completely different interview from the last time out.
Diaz has already left the ring and neglects to give an interview.
There was no mention from Malignaggi or HBO about a possible trilogy with Diaz.
Thanks for joining Inside Fights for round-by-round coverage.