Paulie's Last RunThis is or at least should be Paulie's last fight. The people around him have probably already told him it's not there anymore, champ. Paulie didn't need them to tell him. I listen to him analyze other fighters and he's known for a while that he isn't what he once was.
The qualities that made Paulie a great fighter, his hand and foot speed, are some of the first things that diminish with age. Paulie isn't going to wow you anymore, but he can still win the right kind of fight. When he almost got killed by Porter, it was clearly the wrong fight. Porter was just too strong for him.
When Paulie fought Zab Judah he got the win. That was another older fighter with diminished skills, and he was able to out box him. I thought he fought a great fight with Adrien Broner, and he probably should have won that one too. There were chances in that fight for him to take over.
Danny Garcia might be just the kind of opponent Paulie needs. Danny will try to out box his opponent. He likes to find the right distances and fire away from the outside. He moves just enough to set up the distances and angles he like to fight with. He doesn't really move forward unless he's shown he can.
Danny Garcia has the tools and abilities to destroy Paulie. He also fights with a style that allows Paulie the chance to upset him. He's not going come straight after Paulie, and if he does that would be Paulie getting him off his game. He's not going to do that though. He's going to let Paulie throw and he's going to hope to pound him with powerful counters.
If there is one thing that gives Paulie a shot it's the fact that his boxing IQ hasn't diminished. He's still got a few moves left in his old legs, but most importantly I think he can box with Garcia. If Danny is looking for the KO, and I believe he will be, it gives Paulie the chance to walk him right into traps. Paulie will keep him moving.
Paulie is a tested welterweight. Danny had trouble with Lamont Peterson at 143. I believe Danny was having trouble making 140, but can he really compete at 147 the same way he did at 140? I don't believe he can. If not for a couple of bad decisions there'd already be two losses on his record. His power won't be anything that Paulie hasn't taken before.
The Fight and Prediction
Paulie has been in big fights before, and this one should be the last. He hasn't really been fighting relevant fights for years. It seems he has become a stepping stone fighter. This is more than likely his last fight. I see him going out with a bang.
Danny was the champ at 140 and believes he can continue to find that success at welterweight. He plans to use the stepping stone that is Paulie Malignaggi to get atop of the division.
Danny will work early behind his jab. He'll want to find out if he can drop the hammer on Paulie. He won't find him easy to hit. Paulie can move and won't be a target. Danny will have to move in on him. He'd rather Paulie came after him, but Paulie will be moving and setting the traps he hopes to catch Danny with. I think Danny will be content boxing Paulie from the outside. It would be better for Danny if he pressured him a little. I just don't think he will.
Paulie doesn't fare to well with fighters who have real power. Danny Garcia has never proved that he has real knockout power. Paulie will be looking to set him up and outscore him. Paulie can be a sneaky fighter that racks up points. You can bet he's going to pull out every trick in the bag. Somewhere around the middle rounds Danny is going to realize that the veteran is taking him down through there.
If the fight is close Danny might turn up the pressure a little. He won't necessarily move in any more than he had been, but he will throw more punches from the outside. He'll try to improve his angles. His output after round six or seven will increase and he might even get the next two or three rounds. Paulie will find more opportunities to counter and trap Garcia. If it's close in the championship rounds 10-12 Paulie will fight like this is the last fight of his career, and as stated before it probably is. The scorecards will be close after 12 rounds of boxing.
I have Paulie outscoring him in a close fight, but Garcia being awarded the majority decision.