Former two-division world champ Paulie Malignaggi has never been shy when it comes to speaking his mind. And he definitely is not holding back when talking about this past Saturday’s atrocious robbery in Las Vegas that saw Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso have his world title dreams extinguished by a quick stoppage from referee Tony Weeks in a bout with Rolando “Rolly” Romero.
In the Showtime-aired matchup for the vacant WBA super lightweight championship, Barroso, who was ahead on all three scorecards at the time and had dropped Romero in the third round, was knocked down with a punch-push combo in the ninth. Shortly after that, as he was backed against the ropes, fatigued but clear-headed, Weeks inexplicably jumped in to wave off the fight.
It was a moment that brought an audible exclamation from the Showtime broadcast crew and an explosion of outrage from fight fans all over.
Speaking on his Paulie TV Youtube channel, the outspoken former boxer had plenty to say about this debacle.
“I thought the knockdown was a push-down. Okay, you can forgive that mistake, but you cannot forgive the stoppage,” Malignaggi said.
“This is a theme in boxing, and it’s horrible. The reason it’s not a mistake. People talk about judges or when a ref makes a call, ‘What was he thinking?’ No, bro. They were thinking. Here’s my problem, I personally like Tony Weeks.
“Here’s my problem. These mistakes never happen for the benefit of the B-side. If these were real mistakes, they would happen for the benefit of the A-side and the B-side. Instead, they ONLY always happen for the benefit of the A-side, and for that reason, they are not mistakes.
“This is the worst referee call that I’ve ever seen. Possibly worse than [Meldrick] Taylor & [Julio Cesar] Chavez. Barroso is not even hurt. He’s fighting back. He’s just fatigued, he’s not hurt.”
“I don’t know if it was a panic for Tony [Weeks] where he had to get Rolly the win,” Malignaggi added. “It may have been a panic and you got to stop the fight. That was the most ridiculous stoppage that I’ve ever seen in my life.
“That stoppage was criminal, and when you put it into play for what Barroso needs in his life and how he probably needed this win…
“How do you screw a guy like that, a guy in that position, who’s been what Barroso has been through? What is boxing going to do? Somebody should demand a rematch. Showtime should make the rematch, should demand the rematch.
“When I fought Juan Diaz and got robbed [in August 2009]. Ross Greenberg of HBO wouldn’t let Juan Diaz fight on HBO again unless it was a rematch with Paulie Malignaggi because Team Diaz didn’t want to give me that rematch.
“Is Showtime going to do the right thing and force the rematch with Barroso? Number one, he deserves a rematch 100%. Rolly is talking about Ryan Garcia and all this other garbage. Bro, that rematch has to be made with Ismael Barroso. Barroso deserves it.
“Number two, is the WBA going to force it? Because that’s another thing that can be enforced. It can be enforced by the route of the WBA with the rematch. Is the right thing going to be done in boxing? This is the problem.
“We can talk about how they need to investigate it. They never do s**t. These commissions never do anything. It’s just a dog & pony show, and that’s why it’s so annoying to watch it. It’s so annoying to watch this sport when they do it right in front of your face and make a jerk off of all of us fans.
“We’re watching the same thing your watching. You make a jerk off of us. How do you stop that fight? Where in your right mind do you see the stoppage of that fight [Romero vs. Barroso]? That was absolutely criminal. It was not incompetence. That was criminal. Nobody is that stupid.
“Like I said, if it was about stupidity, you’d see these things happen once in a while and they’d benefit the B-side. They never ever benefit the B-side. That was absolutely criminal.”