EXCLUSIVE: Paulie Malignaggi talks Ultimate Boxxer concept, TV deal
Alongside Dave Coldwell and Ben Shalom, Paulie Malignaggi outlined the new Ultimate Boxxer tournament taking place on May 10th at the Indigo at the O2.
The announcement also brought news that the tournament would take place on BT Sport rather than Channel 5.
When asked by WBN what he thought about the change in platform, Malignaggi spoke exclusively to World Boxing News in saying: “I think its a big platform for Ultimate Boxxer to be a part of. The plan was to always grow the brand as much as we could.
“So when you build a brand it’s a positive thin. But also growing the opportunity for the fighters. The passion for doing this is giving these fighters their talent shown on a global radar.”
As well as announcing the new broadcaster, Ultimate Boxxer is also scheduled to produce five shows a year for the network.
A regular schedule for a tournament which has seen backing from day one and overall good criticism.
“I think there’s a lot of positives about BT Sport picking up this whole concept. Minly it has to do with views. Those views come into play with making the brand bigger. It gives the opportunity for the fighters and the winners to showcase themselves in a positive way.
“Now, all of sudden, the perception of their career changes even more drastically because there’s more eyes on them.”
The Ultimate Boxxer tournaments are well known for their one night events. Shows that take fighters with low exposure to shine them in the limelight. The winner also receiving a nice boost in the rankings.
When asked by WBN about the opportunities that Ultimate Boxxer can provide, Malignaggi replied: “All of these fighters are coming in as free agents so we don’t have ties to a promoter. We don’t have a political aspect where we say we need this fighter to win.
“We’re not going to make sure we try to get this guy to win because he’s tied to this network or he’s tied to this promoter or what not.
“Realistically speaking, these aren’t the fighters that have those deals because if you have your deals already set. Usually you wouldn’t take that risk so early in your career.
“These are the sort of opportunities in Ultimate Boxxer where fighters may have the talent but they can’t be seen by open eyes or get in front of the right people.”
The tournament consists of three stages. Effectively a knockout tournament with three rounds in each fight. A night which promises explosiveness and probes the fighters to fight with urgency.
Shakan Pitters who won the last tournament in the light heavyweight division will make a reappearance on the undercard. An opportunity to fight on TV once again that may not have come his way if he did not enter the tournament.
“Fighting in this now, you may still be a free agent but you’re putting yourself in front of the eyes of the big players of the business. All of a sudden, they see you on Ultimate Boxxer like grab this guy, I like this guy.
“Let’s talk to him and maybe I’ll sign him so that’s more so what this is for. It’s for the opportunity to showcase themselves, to be seen and then from there the perception of their career changes.
“Hopefully, for them, it’s in a positive way where it can open up deals,” concluded the former world champion.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller