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Paulie Malignaggi is a nice guy, but he absolutely lost this fight.
Let me start out by making my point loud and clear: Pablo Cesar Cano got jobbed.
You'll hear a lot about how this was a difficult fight to score, how a lot of rounds were close, etc. And I'm the first guy to shout down the knee-jerkers who declare every close fight a robbery. But this was a robbery, and everyone inside the Barclays Center knew it when it was announced.
The early rounds of the fight were close. You can argue that Malignaggi won them with activity as Cano struggled to get going.
But by the middle rounds Cano was more active, he landed more punches and he was absolutely landing the harder shots.
Without the benefit of Compubox stats inside the arena, it was clear that Malignaggi was rarely, if ever, uncorking power shots. The vast majority of his connects were jabs, while Cano was peppering him with power shots.
This culminated with Cano dropping Malignaggi to the mat in the 11th round, a knockdown that, on my card, absolutely sealed the deal. I had it 117-110 for Cano, or nine rounds to three with the extra point for the knockdown.
Things got nervous when it took an extremely long time between the final bell and the judges' cards finally reaching Jimmy Lennon Jr.'s hands. When the words "split decision" were announced, I immediately grabbed my phone and texted my fellow columnist Michael Walters and said, "They screwed him."
118-109 Cano, 114-113, 114-113 Malignaggi. All you need to know about this is that the crowd, which was hotly pro-Paulie all fight long, booed the hell out of this decision.
And they booed the hell out Malignaggi when he was in the ring being interviewed. Give credit to the Brooklyn fans; they spot a hometown decision when they see one.