Malignaggi Outpoints Ngoudjo; Johnson KOs Hugo Pineda
Malignaggi (right) takes a shot at Ngoudjo en route to a 12-round unanimous decision victory. Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Brooklyn’s own charismatic and flashy world champion Paulie Malignaggi won a closely fought junior welterweight bout over Cameroon’s Herman Ngoudjo at Bally’s Atlantic City by unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 117-111, 116-113 and 115-113.
Saturday’s world title fight was promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Groupe Yvon Michele and aired live on Showtime Championship Boxing.
Ngoudjo, a 6-1 underdog coming in, proved to be much more than a foil for Malignaggi, the young champion making his first title defense.
In the early rounds, Malignaggi used his trademark jab and quick footwork to keep Ngoudjo at bay. But in the middle of the fight—rounds 4-7—Ngoudjo turned the tide with an effective jab of his own and some punishing overhand rights.
Malignaggi is a fighter who thrives on the outside, but Ngoudjo, at times, seemed to beat the champion at his own game. In the seventh, Ngoudjo landed several heavy right hands forcing Malignaggi to get inside and clinch his foe.
“He has an awkward style,” said Malignaggi, who improves to 24-1, 5 KOs. “I thought he’d be more aggressive but he wasn’t. He counterpunched very well and did buzz me a little bit in one round.”
With world renowned trainer Buddy McGirt in his corner, Malignaggi was able to re-establish his jab and use a right uppercut to score repeatedly in the later rounds.
“I thought he was going to be more aggressive but he wasn’t,” the champion continued. “He counterpunched very well, but there were some rounds were he didn’t even touch me. I felt I won the fight clearly, but it wasn’t one of my better performances.”
It had been seven months since Malignaggi won the IBF 140-pound title with a masterful performance over Lovemore N’dou. When asked about the long layoff by ringside reporter Jim Gray, Malignaggi said, “It may have hurt me a little bit. I am a reflex fighter and reflex fighters need to stay busy to be sharp.
“I have the heart of a lion. If you don’t knock me out, I am going to stay there.”
On the non-televised undercard, world ranked light heavyweight challenger Glen Johnson of Jamaica (47-11-2, 32 KOs) defeated Hugo Pineda by eighth round TKO. A two-time world champion and former Fighter of the Year (2004), won his third consecutive contest by knockout and has signed to fight “Bad” Chad Dawson on April 12 at a venue to be determined.
At the start of Saturday’s telecast, the 39-year-old Johnson joined Showtime announcers Steve Albert and Al Bernstein following his fight.
“I am ready and willing making a run at the championship,” said Johnson, who holds wins over Roy Jones, Jr. and Antonio Tarver. “I hope Chad Dawson is ready for a fight. I feel good, I feel fast, strong and youthful. There has been a lot made of how young and fast he is and that he is the future of the division. I am looking forward to showing everybody that I am a world champion. It is very important for me to show the people that I can beat the young star. It’ll show that the young stars are afraid to fight me.”
Fight Results • Glen Johnson • Herman Ngoudjo • Paulie Malignaggi