WASHINGTON -- Shawn Porter steamrolled Paulie Malignaggi in defense of his welterweight title on Saturday night at the DC Armory, knocking him out in the fourth round and leaving his limp body laying right near the broadcast position he usually occupies.
It was all Porter, who left no doubt against Malignaggi, the former two-division titlist who is also the analyst for Showtime boxing broadcasts. But Porter might have sent Malignaggi back to television work for good with a beatdown on the undercard of the light heavyweight title-unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov.
"He wished me the best, and I don't know what he's looking at next but he said, 'I lost to a great champion,'" Porter said of his postfight words with Malignaggi. "I'm doing my best. I definitely needed this victory -- to get it like this over this guy. I knew what he was coming with, but I always had some questions of my own. I came in and answered the questions and got the job done tonight."
Porter, 26, of Akron, Ohio, was making his first defense of the 147-pound belt he won by outpointing Devon Alexander on Dec. 7 in Brooklyn, N.Y., on the undercard of Malignaggi's unanimous decision win against Brooklyn rival Zab Judah.
In a close first round, Porter opened a cut under Malignaggi's left eye with a jab. But Porter had a huge second round, badly rocking Malignaggi multiple times. He hurt him with rights and lefts, and it was surprising that Malignaggi was able to stay on his feet. He was reeling at the end of the round and lucky the bell sounded.
Porter continued to hurt Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs), 33, of Brooklyn, in the third round, rocking him with overhand rights and manhandling him along the ropes.
Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs) ended it in the fourth round by dropping Malignaggi with a clean right hand. Malignaggi looked badly hurt, and Porter continued to tee off on him when the fight resumed before dropping him flat on his back with an onslaught of punches at the edge of the ring apron. Referee Sam Williams waved it off without a count at 1 minute, 14 seconds.
"The objective was to use the jab and get to the body, and it all worked," Porter said. "The first knockdown, he knew that right hand was going to come all night. I caught him in back of the ear, but I knew it wasn't over. [In the fourth round], it was a big right hand. He knew it would land all night. We kept throwing it."
Malignaggi, outspoken throughout the promotion (as usual), was humble in defeat and gave Porter credit.
"He has potential to be great, and I told him to go be great," Malignaggi said. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I don't want to lose to an average champion. I want to lose to a great champion. I told him to go be great, so if this is my last fight, I hope I lost to a great champion.
"I thought he would use constant pressure. I knew he'd come right at me and he mixed it up well. He had a good game plan. If I had to tell you now, I'd say I'll stop fighting. I wish Shawn the best. He deserves it."
Middleweight titlist Peter Quillin handily retained his belt for the third time, rolling to a lopsided decision victory against Lukas Konecny in a fight with little action that drew booing from the crowd.