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Junior Welterweight: Diaz vs. Malignaggi

13 December 2009 No Comment

Tonight, even though the Chicago Bulls were playing the Boston Celtics at the United Center, I still chose to attend the boxing match between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi at the UIC Pavilion. The fight was for the NABO Junior Welterweight Title and was the first boxing event I have attended in over 4.5 years (not counting the AIBA World Boxing Championships held at the UIC Pavilion two years ago).

Parking at UIC Pavilion
Parking at the UIC Pavilion is painless. The parking lot is directly across the street and costs $15.

Obtaining Tickets
There were no ticket scalpers around the main box office (the corner of Racine Ave. and Harrison St). Thus, I needed to find myself a ticket if I wanted a discount off the box office. However, I waited for 10 minutes but nobody entering the arena had an extra ticket. I bought the cheapest seat available from the ticket office for $31.

Even though I bought the cheapest ticket (upper level) does not mean I sat in those seats. I sat in the lower level where the tickets had an $81 face value.

The Undercards
The undercard fights were not very exciting as most of the fights were slow and several went to decision. I probably could have shown up at 9:00 pm to watch the HBO matches only. One notable was Jimmy Herrera who, in his boxing debut, knocked out Gustavo Palacios within 28 seconds of the first round.

HBO Boxing After Dark
There were two fights scheduled for HBO’s Boxing After Dark. The first was between Victor Ortiz and Antonio Diaz. Ortiz cut A. Diaz above his eye and was able to attack the injury on way to a TKO after round 6 (or technically one second in round 7).

The second fight was the main event as J. Diaz fought Malignaggi. The fight was very competitive as Malignaggi edged out the decision. All three judges favored Malignaggi 116-111. J. Diaz was cut above his eye during the fight but Malignaggi chose to showboat rather than attack the eye. Malignaggi consistently played with the crowd when they chanted “Paulie,” put his hands behind his back and made windmill motions before throwing a punch.

The match was not without controversy as Malignaggi was credited with a knockdown even though replays showed it was more of a shove and that Diaz’s glove never actually touched the canvas. Maybe Diaz – Malignaggi III will be in the near future.

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