The following analysis comes courtesy of Ron Ross, author of Bummy Davis vs. Murder, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Mafia and an Ill-Fated Prizefighter.
Brooklyn is back on the fistic map! It’s over 81 years since Maxie Rosenbloom outpointed Jimmy Slattery in a light heavyweight title bout that Brooklyn has hosted another championship fight but some things are worth waiting for. Saturday night’s pugilistic extravaganza at the magnificent Barclay’s Center, featuring four world championship fights on the nine bout card, falls into that “worth waiting for” category. Over seven hours highlighted by spectacular punching prowess, some artistic ring craftsmanship and an all-around unforgettable evening. It was the first of an intended series of boxing events to be put on by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions at this venue.The battle for the WBA Welterweight Championship between the brash champion, Paulie Malignaggi and Mexican warrior Pablo Cesar Cano, started out as an artistic showcase for the Brooklyn Magic Man. A win was a step in setting up a probable Brooklyn mega-fight against Dmitriy Salita. So Paulie worked like any good — no, great — artist at work, painting a design in blood-red over the left side of Cano’s face, his source being a cut on the left eyelid of his opponent. For seven rounds, he captivated his audience, then the tide changed as Cano finally zeroed in on his tormentor and became effective in backing Malignaggi up and walking through Paulie’s punches, flicking them aside and firing back, Paulie showed heart and continued fighting back, but now he was coming in second on most exchanges. In this sport, there are no medals for second place. When Cano dropped Malignaggi with an overhand right in the eleventh round, much of the crowd was roaring for the gutsy Mexican to pull it out. However, Paulie’s early lead was just a bit too much to overcome as he copped a razor-thin split decision victory with two judges giving him a 114-113 nod.Holding up his end of the needed dual victories, Salita rushed to the arena as soon as he completed his Sabbath observance by not traveling until after sundown and climbed into the ring at approximately 7:40 p.m. for his six-round bout. He was the complete workman against his opponent from Hannibal Missouri, Brandon Hoskins, sporting a 16-2-1 (eight knockouts) record, staying on top of his man and controlling the action throughout the six rounds, landing well with a left jab that kept Hoskins on the defensive and permitted Salita to move and vary his attack, working well with brief body attacks, then moving upstairs, occasionally working short combinations, hooking off the jab and following with the right, which for the most part was used more as a diversion than as a weapon. It was a competent, well-executed performance that earned him a near-shut-out win with tallies of 60-54, 59-55, and 59-55 to improve his record to 35-1-1, 18 KO’s. It should set the stage for a championship fight with Malignaggi.