April 26th, 2010 By Frances Martel
POP CULTURE MISSING BOAT SANS PAULIE
Uniion City, NJ- You know how, in romantic comedies, sometimes the title female character searches far and wide for her knight in shining armor, only to disregard the fact that the boy she is looking for this entire time is right before her eyes? Well, America, it’s time we end this meaningless search for the nation’s new boxing superstar and just give the well-deserved title to Paul Malignaggi (27-3, 5 KOs).
TIME HAS COME FOR NEW BOXING ICON
Sure, Paulie is not exactly the spitting image of Middle America, but let’s evaluate the signs of the times, or, more aptly, of Time Magazine, which has named among nominee’s for it’s 100 most influential people Andrew Breitbart, Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs), and Snooki. In other words, the nation is searching for a loud, outlandish, opinionated, strangely-coiffed Italian American superstar. Meanwhile, boxing is still searching aimlessly for an ambassador to the mainstream to make our sport popular again. It’s about time someone put two and two together.
WHERE IS PAULIE’S PR TEAM?
The problem seems to be that Malignaggi’s publicity team—who are single-handedly responsible for making this happen—haven’t done so yet. While Malignaggi himself is a PR master (just take a look at his Twitter account), his team has been focused on selling t-shirts and preaching to the choir. They have done nothing to sell his image outside of the boxing world– where he is likely to find further fame and fortune. Apparently they haven’t noticed that the nation is currently nursing a major crush on brash New Yorkers with radioactive tans and spiky hair. After the New York Times mentioned Malignaggi in an article on the tv show Jersey Shore, it’s shocking his PR team didn’t try to set up a meeting.
NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR JERSEY SHORE CREW TO BE OFFENSIVE
While it is possible and entirely justified that Malignaggi is offended by the image of his generation of Italian Americans as likeable but ultimately problematic drunks, this could have also been a launching point with which to insert him into the national dialogue. Appearances on the show, public statements, and guest spots on late night would have all done wonders for his mainstream appeal, not to mention for the general appeal of boxing itself.
WE NEED A NEW FACE OF BOXING
The major reason for the decline of popularity of our sport in America is simply that there are no charismatic American champions being promoted into the mainstream public eye. It is a spot usually reserved for heavyweights, of which there are currently no giant characters, so why not give it to a light welterweight with some heavy heart? Ultimaltely, though, as much as fans would want him to assume that position, it’s up to his publicity team, which has mysteriously shown little interest in promoting him. We can only hope this changes in time for Paulie to make a blockbuster appearance on Conan O’Brien‘s new TBS show.