Exclusive: Paulie Malignaggi gives honest assessment of Italy debut
Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi has informed WBN that he is ready to return to action following an eight-round victory over Laszlo Fazekas in September.
‘The Magic Man’ had initially spoken to WBN from Marbella during preparations for what was the Italian’s debut in his home country, citing a good performance in the fight as a factor for moving his career forward.
Malignaggi had lost back-to-back stoppages to Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia before being offered the chance to fight in the place of his parent’s birth. However, he was still debating whether to continue boxing at the time.
Now that the fight is over, Malignaggi is back training for his next fight, which should be announced soon, but the 35-year-old admitted that things had to get a lot more serious after seeing out a labored points win over a fighter with 21 losses on his record.
“The night of my fight in Italy, I didn’t feel great, but they offered me the fight, and I always wanted to fight in Italy. I knew I might never get another chance to fight in Italy again, so I thought this may be my only chance to do something I always wanted to do,” Malignaggi exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I thought it was a good idea at the time, but then going through a four-week miniature training camp and trying to drop all that weight all at once, you realize that was tough.
“Especially when I got back to the States as I had a lot of commentating to do. I did the Berto fight and the Kameda-McDonnell rematch, so I couldn’t just train, and I had to lose weight on the road.
“I didn’t get the best of training camps for the fight. The only real training I got was the final week. I left on the 17th for Marbella and stayed there until the 23rd. That was the only time in that whole training process that I had a daily routine of training.
“I had one day of sparring, and I looked horrible. I sparred one day against Kid Caramel, a good prospect from Scotland called Lewis Benson. Plus another kid who was 12-0, but I was tired. I got done, and I thought I was out of shape.
“I had to keep thinking that the opponent I had was not on my level, and I’d probably beat him anyway, so then I could see how I felt about getting in shape for other fights.”
PAULIE MALIGNAGGI IN MILAN
On the actual contest, which took place at the Teatro Principe in Milan, Malignaggi recalled: “So we had the fight, and I don’t look very good in my eyes. My timing was a bit off, but I was able to get eight rounds out of it, and I kind of approached it as a sparring session. I wasn’t sharp, but I kind of beat the kid mentally and put a certain amount of pressure on behind the jab.
“I felt like I could have got the stoppage if I followed up on some of the things I did, but I was just too tired, and If I tried that, I might have fallen on my face with exhaustion myself. So I thought it was not worth taking a chance on.
“I just put it on cruise control and won an easy decision, but a sloppy decision. But I was a bit disappointed in myself as I wanted to put on a better show for the fans, but the media in Italy let me have it and told me they expected better. I don’t blame them for expecting better either.
“It’s just something I had to do so I could tick my bucket list, you know, and I got it out of the way as far as that was concerned, which will now lead to another fight,” he added.
That fight Malignaggi talks of is a possible European welterweight title clash with Gianluca Branco on the December 12th Anthony Joshua v Dillian Whyte undercard in the UK.
WBN believes they could announce in the coming days barring any last-minute stumbling blocks.
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.