Image Credit: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo/Shutterstock
Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi is known for his over the top statements.
The former two-time world champion was recently fired by SHOWTIME for comments he made months ago in rebuke of current world champion, Devin Haney.
Paulie Malignaggi finally getting fired for being racist pic.twitter.com/2aTmvwsED2
— THEE BOXiANA⚪️ (@VivaBoxiana) July 30, 2020
Malignaggi’s comments during an interview with IFL TV has cost him his broadcast analyst job.
According to Boxing Scene, Malignaggi refused a request from ViacomCBS to apologize for his comments and was subsequently fired.
Malignaggi was responding to comments made by current WBC lightweight title holder, Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs). Back in April, Haney stated that he’d “never let a white boy beat me.”
That’s when Malignaggi headed down a path to SHOWTIME oblivion.
Footage of Paulie Malignaggi moments after being fired by Showtime pic.twitter.com/p4dcahd41b
— Brian Blake (@BrianOBlake) July 30, 2020
When the Foot Meets the Mouth
“He probably wasn’t talking about (Vasiliy) Lomachenko,” Malignaggi said. “I assume he was talking about Luke Campbell, who I think (is) the more viable opponent that he would be fighting.
“When you’re in your early twenties, you probably don’t express that very well. It’s not something that’s great to make racial (statements) in 2020, especially with so many racial tensions in the world and what not.
“Boxing has had its course in history with certain demographics dominating more than others, right?” Malignaggi said in the video. “Maybe like 100 years ago, Irish fighters were better. And then the Jews and the Italians came in. I think the African-American fighter became the most dominant in the sport in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s, you know?
“It’s not great to have the race discussion because it’s going to coordinate division,” before stating “I don’t know if Devin got the memo, it’s no longer the time of the African American anymore in boxing.
“It’s (the Eastern Europeans) that has become the dominant species in boxing. I think stating something like (Haney’s statement) that could be very dangerous.”
However, here is where it got costly for Malignaggi as he was baited by the reporter with the lead up to a question, “if a white fighter had said that about a Black fighter, ‘that i’ll never lose to a black boy’ that we’d be outright calling them racist and the reaction would be much bigger…”
But Paulie took the bait.
“I try not to join in the race conversations. This is one of the exact examples of why I don’t believe there is racial oppression in 2020 or in this century. I believe there has been, sure, but I don’t believe there is racial oppression today. I believe its all made up and I believe that it is exaggerated.
“This is exactly one of the reasons why. The fact that a Black fighter can say that and not pay any price financially. But if a White fighter said that about any Black fighters at all, he’d probably lose his TV contract and probably TV networks wouldn’t touch him, you know.
“I won’t tell you that its a double standard but i’ll tell you that it does prove that the entire whole hypothesis of racial oppression is exaggerated in this century, you know. I don’t think this century has given us anything aside from any situations people want t nitpick, you know.”
Paulie Malignaggi probably had this coming.
Although his latent post-racial outlook is new information, his incredulousness certainly is not. From spitting on Artem Lobov during the lead up to his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships debut to his ever-evolving off the cuff ignorant comments that are his trademark, Malignaggi has consistently kept it gutter.
SHOWTIME is known for its pristine production and clean presentation. Although at the commentator’s desk he shines, outside that platform he has always been a smudge on their clean shirt.
Tale of the Tape
Malignaggi had been a Showtime analyst since September 2012. According to Boxing Scene, the network is working on a severance agreement while he is off the air. However, he remains an analyst for Sky Sports’ boxing coverage in the United Kingdom.
The SHOWTIME Boxing team is a diverse group of entertainment veterans.
What Paulie Malignaggi thought he was doing after his racist rant vs how it actually played out for him. Ya hate to see it! pic.twitter.com/uSsnsRGhFr
— Most Valid Opinion MVO Uncensored Podcast (@izdatyofaceee) July 31, 2020
SHOWTIME Sports’ President of Sports & Event Programming Stephen Espinoza is a Mexican-American. David Dinkins, Jr. is the Senior Vice President and Executive Producer of Showtime Productions on the Showtime Network.
Dinkins, Jr. oversees all production of boxing and mixed martial arts telecasts and is the proud son of New York City’s first African-American mayor, David Dinkins, Sr.
Abner Mares will serve as expert analyst on Saturday’s Showtime telecast — Angelo Leo-Tramaine Williams — after Paulie Malignaggi’s permantely removal from the role following a string of controversial comments, sources tell The Athletic. @Idecboxing first on Malignaggi’s ouster
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 30, 2020
SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions unveiled a nine-event television lineup for the remainder of 2020 in a virtual press conference on July 22nd. The schedule is the largest collection of world championship boxing announced since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a stoppage of the sport.
According to The Athletic, former four-time, three-division world boxing champion Abner Mares will replace Malignaggi. During the week of June 25th, Mares became an American citizen through a drive-thru naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles.
SHOWTIME’s usual broadcast with Hall of Fame announcer Al Bernstein and Mauro Ranallo at the desk and Brian Custer at the host desk and Jim Gray doing the in-ring and backstage interviews.