Two of Brooklyn's finest pugilists will square off at the Barclays Center on Saturday night when Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO) takes on veteran Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KO). While no titles are on the line, plenty of pride and momentum will be at stake when both native sons fight in front of a home crowd.
Both fighters come into the bout in desperate need of a victory. Malignaggi suffered just the fifth defeat of his career in his last trip out, dropping a split decision to Adrien Broner. At 36 years old, Judah is looking at the downside of his career. He has lost two of his last three.
Here's a look at when and where to catch all the action along with a last-minute preview of the action.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Odds: Zab Judah -155, Paulie Malignaggi +125 (via Bovada)
Keys for Judah
Judah's most apparent advantage in this bout comes in the power category. While Malignaggi has just seven knockouts in his career, Judah has 29 and can still make opponents feel his power. This means that he can be willing to exchange a bit more than usual because Malignaggi is unlikely to turn around the fight with one blow.
That doesn't mean that Judah can get sloppy, though. Throughout his career, he's been plagued by uneven performances. The last time out, a slow start cost him a shot at beating Danny Garcia.
There's a good chance that this one goes to the cards, so Judah can't afford to take many rounds off.
Keys for Malignaggi
He proved how far his toughness can take him in his most recent bout with Broner. Despite being a heavy underdog status and facing an opponent who had the advantage in skills, Malignaggi did enough to battle Broner to a split decision. He'll need a similar effort here to balance out Judah's power advantage.
With very little chance of a knockout victory, Malignaggi will need to pick his spots, stay on the outside and try to outpoint Judah by being crisper with his combinations and footwork.
However, Malignaggi's display against Broner was impressive—especially in the volume of punches he was able to throw over the course of the 12-round fight:
Expect this one to be an instant classic with plenty of exchanges to go around, but Malignaggi's ability to stay busy will give him the edge in a decision.
#ShoStats: Total Punches Landed/Thrown: Malignaggi [214/843] Broner [246/524]— SHO Stats (@SHOStats) June 23, 2013
Malignaggi by Unanimous Decision