Exclusive: Paulie Malignaggi turns down EBU shot, reveals offers will determine future
Two-weight world title holder Paulie Malignaggi has revealed to WBN he turned down the opportunity to fight Ahmed El Mousaoui for the European welterweight title this year.
A European Boxing Union update had placed Italian-American Malignaggi as one of two mandatory challengers alongside El Mousaoui of France, with a date of December 9th tentatively pencilled in for the contest.
Challenging for the EBU belt had been on Malignaggi’s to do list previously having been lined up to compete for the belt in London late in 2015, although the ‘Magic Man’ professed things have changed since that attempt fell apart.
“The EBU title fight is something that unfortunately I will have to skip,” Malignaggi exclusively told World Boxing News prior to heading to Manchester for Anthony Crolla v Jorge Linares on Thursday.
“It has always been a goal of mine to win that title, but the combination of my right hand being a bit bruised in my last fight and the fact the purse offered was so low, it became something that regretfully was not worth the risk at this point in time.
“Maybe in the future, you never know, as that belt is something that represents pride in my European heritage and citizenship.”
Ceferino Rodriguez, a Spaniard with one loss from 24 bouts, has now taken Malignaggi’s place with the EBU and is expected to enter negotiations to battle El Mousaoui by October 5.
Having won three fights on the bounce since losing to Danny Garcia in August 2015, which included Malignaggi embarking on something of a mini tour of Europe, the 35 year-old’s latest triumph came in a return to New York City to defeat Gabriel Bracero.
Malignaggi’s victory in July has left the door open for big offers to be put to the fighter/analyst for a return to action, which the Brooklynite has admitted would need to be at the high-end in order to entice him to fight again.
“I have gotten some offers to fight but for one reason or another they have not materialized,” he explained.
“It’s not that I would be against taking the opportunities presented but it just has to fit my schedule (so I can adequately train) and reaches my requests, financially.
“I’ve had an offer to fight at junior middleweight against Rocky Jerkic in Sydney, Australia as well as conversations with the teams of both David Peralta (who just beat Robert Guerrero) and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, both of which were discussed at welterweight, but nothing has stuck.
“I’m always interested in fighting if the situation is adequate for me, but Ideally I would like to retire at the year’s end. If I don’t fight before then I would consider extending my career into 2017 if a worthwhile offer presents itself.”
Asked whether he believed a final world title shot was a possibility before he steps away for good, Malignaggi replied: “I’m not sure another world title shot is actually realistic, but if a fight that could be important presents itself I may take it.
“I love having the memories from my boxing career so making one or two more cool ones is something I would be interested in if a good enough fight presented itself,” he added.