© Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions
Headlining a big show tonight at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX is former lightweight champion Juan Diaz's move up to light welter to face Paulie Malignaggi in a 12 rounder.
Diaz, 34-2 (17), barely broke the lightweight limit during the weigh-in yesterday and former IBF 140 pound titlist Malignaggi, 26-2 (5), hit the scales at his lightest weight since 2002.
Both fighters have only two losses and both came against top competition; Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton for Malignaggi and Juan Manuel Marquez and Nate Campbell for Diaz.
Malignaggi had more trouble with volume puncher Hatton than he did against the more measured Cotto while Diaz was surprisingly outworked by Campbell and taken apart by the pinpoint accuracy of Marquez.
What this means during fight time is that Diaz will likely give Malignaggi the same trouble as did Hatton and "Magic Man" Paulie will be hard pressed to match Campbell's work rate.
Malignaggi has an iron chin and Diaz isn't a powerful puncher so this one will likely go to decision with Diaz's higher activity rate likely producing a unanimous decision victory.
But, Diaz psychological state following the Marquez stoppage could be a factor and if Malignaggi can keep the always advancing Diaz at a distance and effectively counter, he could take away the former lightweight champ's confidence and win a points verdict.
The chief support bout features the first defense of the second reign of IBF super featherweight champ Malcolm Klassen, 24-4-2 (15), from South Africa who faces the challenge of ex-IBF feather titlist Robert Guerrero, 24-1-1 (17), of California.
Southpaw Guerrero will tower over Klassen but both men have producing a lot of stoppages lately so this should be a real war for as long as it lasts as long as the champion get get inside Guerrero's long reach.