I've been in a minor slump this month picking fights, and this is a tough one to use to get back into the win column. Both fighters have the ability to win on Saturday.
Looking at their most recent performances does little to bring clarity. Paulie Malignaggi looked great against Zab Judah last December and gave Adrien Broner trouble last June. But Shawn Porter is a younger, much stronger fighter than Judah and a busier fighter than Broner who takes much less for granted.
Porter looked terrific when he took the title from Devon Alexander. I'm not sure I'd call Malignaggi a better fighter than Alexander, but he is smarter. He'll be much harder to draw into the kind of war that favors Porter.
But Malignaggi has a lot less margin for error than the young champion does. If Porter makes a mistake, it won't cost him anywhere near as much as a mistake will cost Malignaggi.
Malignaggi is a better boxer and more experienced, but Porter is a good boxer and experienced enough to know what needs to be done in this fight. So his power and athleticism should carry the night for him.
I'm picking Porter to win a unanimous decision. In the second half of the year, I'd love to see him against one of the division's other young stars, such as Keith Thurman or Adrien Broner. I wouldn't even mind seeing him in a rematch with Alexander.