Lou DiBella, the combustible promoter, was in typical form at the Red Lion on Greenwich Village last Wednesday.
The Brooklyn-born Long Island resident, whose office is in Manhattan, was there to hype an undercard fight (Andy Lee-Brian Vera) on his Oct. 1 Atlantic City show featuring Sergio Martinez. He spoke passionately about his stable of boxers, dropped in the occasional eff bomb, and as usual, made the media's job that much easier, because he is unafraid to go there.
He touched on the Lee-Vera bout, what's next for his marquee welterweight, Andre Berto, and some other notables in his stable. Then someone asked about comments one of his ex-fighters, Paulie Malignaggi, had made on a radio show called "Rope A Dope Radio," on Sept. 14.
The floodgate opened wide, and out flowed a heavy helping of beef. DiBella promoted Malignaggi for almost 10 years, but last year, the two parted ways, and not gently. They'd been extremely tight, and most in boxing saw the duo as having been in a mutually beneficial relationship. DiBella stood by Malignaggi while the fighter struggled with hand problems, and Malignaggi stood out as a boldfaced name on the roster for several years. Both men made money along the way.
"It sucks," DiBella said of Malignaggi's comments. "He's said it to many members of the press on and off the record, he's said it to loads of fighters. I've tried to take the higher road and he won't stop. If I ever go into the Hall of Fame, which I think eventually I deserve, that's one of the jobs I did with a fighter which most deserves to put me there. Six years I took care of him. My office called him my nephew cause he broke his hands so many times. I didn't make a dollar with him until the seventh year I promoted him. I never took more than thirty percent in any fight and less than that the last few. He thought his career was over when he (messed) the bed, (messed the bed) against Ricky Hatton, and he was ready to retire. He made seven figures with me after that. Why is this emeffer out there badmouthing me to people, to fighters, is he stupid? Off the record means the writer won't write something. But I have enough members of press who are my friends that they share the conversations with me. So here's my thing to Paulie: go eff yourself and if I never effing see you I don't give an eff. The lesson I learned in the Hopkins situation ... I learned hate eats you up. (Hopkins and Dibella feuded bitterly, after Hopkins accused DiBella, then his adviser, of unethical practices. DiBella took the fighter to court in 2004 and won a judgement for libel against him.) I don't hate the kid, I just don't want to talk to him, I don't want to see him."
NYFightblog was out of the loop, didn't know what DiBella was responding to. Check back here in a bit, and we'll share what it was that got DiBella so steamed ...