Two-weight champion Paulie Malignaggi stands on the cusp on claiming a third world title in on April 19 when the New Yorker challenges IBF belt holder Shawn Porter in Washington DC.
The 33 year-old scored a decisive victory over compatriot Zab Judah in December to secure a tenth world title fight – on the back of going down controversially to Adrien Broner the previous June.
Many have argued since that the ‘Magic Man’ did enough to be on the right end of the split decision that night at the Barclays Center, which would have cemented part of seven-fight winning streak dating back to his battle with Amir Khan in 2010.
Malignaggi is re-writing the script for those elite fighters who are not recognised punchers in the sport as the Italian-American seemingly gets better the more experience he puts in his locker.
Enter young up and comer Porter, who is seven-years Malignaggi’s junior and goes by the nickname ‘Showtime.’ The Ohio-native is yet to taste defeat in the sport having overcome every opponent he has faced and Malignaggi is aware that he has to be at his best in order to take the red belt from Porter next month.
“I love having the chance at another world title, but I know Porter is going to bring it all and I will be ready for his style,” Malignaggi told World Boxing News.
“Winning that third world title means the world to me and another world title brings endless opportunities for me.”
Malignaggi watched on from ringside as Porter easily dismantled former unified light-welterweight king Devon Alexander to pick up his maiden championship, but isn’t part of the club that believe the former champion gave a poor performance.
“It was nothing on Alexander, I just believe Porter was just a better man that night,” said Malignaggi. “Porter came, did his job, put in put a great performance on that night and took the title away from Alexander like he should.”
In a recent article with WBN, Porter’s father and trainer Kenny stated that he sees the fight as an opportunity for his son to be dominant and really make a statement – a sentiment which Malignaggi obviously disagrees with.
“I heard what Kenny said, but he is supposed to say that. That’s his father and trainer, he’s just supporting his son and I respect that. But when they step in the ring with me, they’ll realize it’s a very different story and I will just leave it at that.”
As the welterweight division continues to be the centre of attention with the recent Mayweather v Khan/Maidana saga, Malignaggi’s rubberstamped that he was never in the running for a chance to face the pound for pound king on May 3, but hopes to be in line for September if he can regain the title and once again put himself at boxing’s top table.
“Mayweather had his plan and I was never part of it, but we all want that chance to face him,” he emphasized. “If I win another title, we will see what happens in the future, but right now it’s all about Porter and making it a reality.
“I would never look past Porter as I have a very tough fight a head of me and so does Floyd against Maidana.”
Victory for either Malignaggi or Porter puts them instantly in the firing line for the IBF’s mandatory contender Kell Brook in the late summer as the undefeated Brit plots his course to facing to top fighters at 147.
‘The Special One’ was looking to face Amir Khan after the whole Mayweather reached it’s conclusion and Malignaggi knows that he could well be the first big Stateside name that collides with the hard-hitting Yorkshireman.
“Kel Brook is a very talented fighter and we will see what happens after this fight. Of course, Brook wants Khan as he wants his chance, he wants to state his name as a top contender.
“He wants the best and I see that happening soon,” he added.
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