‘The Magic Man’ was the more assured of the two fighters for the duration of the ten rounds and picked the better punches to see out a points win on the cards.
At the final bell, judges awarded the two-weight world champion a 98-92 twice, 96-94 victory and potentially opened the door to a farewell title shot for the Italian-American.
A bustling welterweight division full of powerful champions doesn’t bode well for Malignaggi’s chances of claiming another championship, although the entertaining boxer / analyst still has plenty to offer on Saturday night’s evidence.
In the Showtime opener, rangy 154 pounder Tony Harrison dominated Sergey Rabchenko before a sweet straight right hand ended the contest in the ninth round.
The Detroit fighter never allowed the Ricky Hatton-trained Belarussian settle into the fight and took every round on my card until one perfectly-timed blow finished Rabchenko for good.
Harrison has now placed himself handily for a shot at a world super welterweight title, whilst Rabchenko has lost two of his last four bouts and needs to go back to the drawing board before any return.