Wilder vs Fury 2: "Nobody should be bigger than the sport," declares Paulie Malignaggi
"Boxing is the only sport in which perception quickly becomes reality" - HOF Promoter Don Chargin
Last week, it was reported first on FightSaga.com that PBC had decided to pull all official copies of the first fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury from every major search engine in America, leaving fans to rely on bootleg versions to view the heavyweight contest in its entirety.
Now, it's been revealed that Showtime Sports color commentator Paulie Malignaggi has been banned from attending all press events for the upcoming rematch, and will not be providing any official commentary for the highly anticipated PBC event.
Paulie has his own personal theories as to why this is happening to a "valued member" of the boxing media.
"I heard that Wilder was unhappy with the comments I made, and I'm open to any debate on how I achieved my scorecard," stated Paulie Malignaggi to iFL TV shortly after providing color commentary for Showtime Sports throughout their entire broadcast of Wilder vs Fury on December 1st, 2018.
"He was unhappy with the fact that I thought it was a robbery. You know, I'm not going to put it out there like that."
Too late, Paulie. You already put it out there during the live Showtime PPV broadcast for the 775K US and UK viewers who decided to purchase the fight, as well as the 10 million viewers worldwide who chose to stream the event illegally.
During the broadcast, Paulie became disgusted with the outcome and with Judge Alejandro Rochin specifically for scoring the bout 115-111 in favor of Deotnay Wilder. The always vocal "Magic Man" didn't keep anything close to the vest on the evening of December 1st, 2018, at the "tail end" of the live Showtime Sports presentation.
“Guys, I don’t even care about any of these replays. I really don’t, because they matter nothing. This decision is a joke. Alejandro Rochin better never work another day of his life in boxing."
“I don’t know what else to tell you. We’re looking at highlights of a fight we should be breaking down and why the result is the way it is, but I can’t tell you why the result is the way it is. We’re looking at certain highlights, but then I’ve got to explain why the result went this way?
“I don’t know what to tell you anymore. I can’t even do my own job.”
(Disclaimer: The quotes cited above are from a recorded copy of Wilder/Fury 1 that is no longer available online)
Apparently, the current WBC Heavyweight champion took great exception to Malignaggi's candid commentary. The 39-year-old boxing expert claims his door is always open to anyone who sees the action differently...including active prizefighters.
"I'm open for the debate with Wilder, because it's never anything personal with me. I don't have any rooting interest in any fighter. At any given level, I don't even have any rooting interest with any promoter of the show. I watch the fight and I defend who I think won the fight."
Damn you, Paulie...how dare you attempt to merely do your job without showing favoritism or bias!
"When I think it's that obvious I get a little bit more emotional about it. I even got angry when Mauricio Herrera didn't get the decision against Danny Garcia, and Danny Garcia is a guy that I'm very cool with. But I didn't care...I thought Herrera won, and I put it out there. Garcia was cool with me after the fight. He knows it's nothing personal and I was just doing my job."
"Wilder is the Haymon guy and the Showtime guy, and if he had been robbed I would have gone to bat for him. But I didn't feel that. The sport decides who wins the fights, and I just call it like I see it."
To be fair, this isn't a business practice exclusive to PBC...apparently, this kind of "boxing fascism" has been going on for quite a while.
"I've been blocked three times by Golden Boy from calling Canelo fights. There have been several times that British networks asked me to do commentary on Canelo fights, and I've been banned from calling those fights because I felt Golovkin won both times against Canelo...but I stand my ground in my beliefs and I welcome any debate."
Once again, in all fairness, the February 22nd event is a joint venture between FOX and ESPN, while the hefty licensing fee for the first Wilder/Fury affair was paid for by Showtime Sports...but it's still a PBC event. And yes, Paulie calls fights for Showtime Sports, regardless of which promotional group is staging the event.
But, Showtime Championship Boxing doesn't currently work with any other promotional organization outside of Premier Boxing Champions. Isn't Paulie still a valued member of the PBC family?
So what gives? Is PBC currently in the business of attempting to shape the opinion of boxing fans and critics by "silencing" any personalities or members of the media for merely voicing an opinion with which they don't agree?
It should be a startling indication as to how influential color commentators have become in curbing the opinion of mainstream and casual fans.
The former two-division world titlist firmly believes he is being penalized for merely doing his job properly.
"I'm not one of these half-assed reporters who sits at press row and doesn't understand what he's watching," claims the Magic Man.
"There are reporters who have been watching this s*** for years and still don't know what they're looking at. I can specify in detail what is actually going on in the ring!"
"And I dare anyone to debate me on how they see any fight playing out!"
The proud Brooklyn native has every reason to "pull rank" on anyone who believes he is voicing his opinions as anything less than a professional member of the boxing media...he is a former world champion and one of the most knowledgeable commentators in the business.
Yes, scoring a prizefight is indeed a subjective process. But if there is anyone who understands how to measure clean, effective and consequential activity in the ring, it's someone who's actually competed in the ring at the highest level of the sport.
"I'm not Dan Rafael, who scored the fight 114-112 for Wilder, and can't even tell you how he got there! I'm not that guy! I can specifically detail every single round for you, if that's what we need to do so that you know that I'm not against you personally!"
"I defend the sport. I believe nobody is bigger than the sport, and nobody should be bigger than the sport."
"Wilder vs. Fury 2" is slated to air live via FOX PPV and ESPN + PPV on February 22nd, 2020. Fans should hope for a clean and controversy-free KO from either combatant in less than three weeks.
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