Neutral Officials on Neutral Ground for Diaz-Malignaggi II

Brian O. BlakeCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2009

Their first fight was a highly competitive 12-round affair, which featured lots of great back-and-forth action from the combatants, but was ultimately overshadowed by what can only be described as a very suspect scorecard turned in by veteran Texas judge Gale Van Hoy.

Paul "Magic Man" Malignaggi (26-3, 5 KOs) had shown great concern in being able to secure neutral officials as he took on Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz (35-2, 17 KOs) in his hometown of Houston, Tex., and, when the officials were announced, he wasted no time in voicing his displeasure.

Some would go on to argue that, regardless of the official scores, Diaz deserved the nod as his unanimous decision victory. 

Many others would cry foul as they felt that Malignaggi didn't get the win he so deserved.

Once again, Malignaggi made himself heard, blasting Gale Van Hoy as well as other members of the Texas Boxing Commission.

"I'm really happy I got the rematch," he said. "I made enough of a stink after the first fight to help me get the rematch."

Diaz, on the other hand, is just ready to move on.  "I'm not going to dwell on the past.  The past is the past.  This time around, it's a different city and a new and different game plan."

For their rematch, neither man will enjoy the luxury of fighting in their own backyard, as Houston's Diaz and Brooklyn native Malignaggi will both enter the squared circle at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill., for the event which will be televised live on HBO: Boxing After Dark.

Furthermore, Illinois' Genaro "Geno" Rodriguez will be the third man in the ring with Mauro DiFiore, Tom Miller, and Michael Pernick who hail from Illinois, Ohio, and Florida, respectively, judging the bout.

Not one official from either Texas or New York will be involved in the much-anticipated rematch, which is being billed as "By Popular Demand."

Once again the WBO NABO regional title will be up for grabs, but the real prize for the victor will be a crack at the junior welterweight crown.

With Devon Alexander (WBC), Amir Khan (WBA), Juan Urango (IBF), and Tim Bradley (WBO) all holding a share of the title, the winner will have plenty of options to consider.

The one thing they won't have to consider is whether or not they'll be able to get a fair shake on the scorecards come Saturday night.


Questions and comments can be sent to