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19 NOVEMBER 2018


Malignaggi Decisions Lora, Garcia Defeats Holt

By Jason Pribila: Golden Boy Promotions and Gary ShawProductions presented “Believe It or Not” Saturday Night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The undercard, like the main event, featured some of the best fighters from the East Coast fighting 3.000 miles away from their target audience.

The much anticipated junior-welterweight cross-roads fight was the reason why many hard core boxing fans purchased this Pay Per View. Prospect Danny Garcia was stepping up in class as he faced resurgent former titlist, Kendall Holt.

I have had the chance to see “Swift” Garcia from ringside, and I love his demeanor as a professional. He reminds me of a young Miguel Cotto. He is a kid who digs his chin close to his chest, and relies on his constant work to the body to overwhelm potentially more talented pugilists.

Across the ring was the leap in competition Garcia needed to vault him from prospect to contender. The outcome of this fight seemed to rely on which Kendall Holt would show up: The powerful puncher-boxer who picked himself off the canvas to stop Ricardo Torres; or the passive fighter who allowed himself to hand a decision to Timothy Bradley, despite dropping his for twice.

In the first five minutes it looked as if the experienced Holt was poised to use this platform to vault him back up in the ranks of 140-147 lb. fortune and fame. However, the young Garcia had his own travel plans and when he landed a right hand at the end of the second round.

Suddenly Holt fell back into his shell, and Garcia became more aggressive. Confident aggressiveness carried Garcia to a points lead. And when Holt suffered an accidental head-butt that caused swelling under his left-eye; he seemed comfortable to lean on that to soften his blow for coming up short.
Eventually the evidence of Holt’s power began to show on Garcia’s right eye. There were moments when the Philadelphian seemed as if he was slowing down, but Holt’s legs never seemed willing enough to hit the gas pedal to take advantage.

Much like his fight Bradley, Holt accelerated much too late. He gave better than he took down the stretch, but the outcome seemed as a foregone conclusion.

The judges’ scores caused more drama than the actual fight. A split decision was awarded to Garcia by scores of: 117-111, 117-111 113-115.
The victory sets Garcia (22-0, 14 KO) up for an HBO BAD fight, while Holt (27-5, 15 KO) drops to the status of gate-keeper.

The televised open featured former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi in a welterweight bout against rugged Orlando Lora.

Many feel that Malignaggi’s move to fighting under the Golden Boy banner is a marriage made in Brooklyn, New York heaven. Golden Boy Promotions is set to bring its banner to the east coast to the Barclays Center in 2912. The $4.9 billion arena will not only be the home of the NBA’s Nets, but will serve as a potential East Coast home for boxing. Malignaggi has been meticulously selected as the poster boy to christen the arena.

The best laid plans almost blew up early when Lora rocked Malignaggi with a straight right hand. The former junior welterweight titlist overcame buckled knees to survive the round.

Malignaggi regained his wits between rounds and relied on his muscle memory to carry him through the rest of the evening. The natural junior welterweight had the physique to compete at the sports glamour division, but his clean punches reminded us to why Paulie came up short in his biggest fights in the past.

Lora’s heart refused to allow him to stop trying to recapture the moment he had in round one, but Malignaggi’s skill ensured that would not happen under his watch.

The official scores read: 100-90, 98-92, 99-91; and the Compu Box scores of: Malignaggi. 248 of 636 for 39%...... Lora 85 of 540 = 16% echoed the fact that the magic will continue as long as Malignaggi wants to fight B-level welterweights.

Jason Pribila is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at

October 15, 2011

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