Boxing

Paulie Malignaggi speaks out

BROOKLYN (July 10, 2007) – IBF light welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (24-1, 5 KOs), coming off of his masterful title-winning performance against Lovemore N’dou, is back home in Brooklyn and the outspoken, colorful boxer with a flair for controversy recently offered his views on everything from what it’s like to be a world title-holder at 26 to whom he has in his crosshairs.

Being world champion…..
“It feels great. This is what I’ve been working so hard for. I’m being treated much differently. My friends always respected me, but, in general, I’m getting more respect in the street and boxing. Added pressure? When you’re the best it comes with the territory.”

Who’s next on his dance card…..
“I want to fight Hatton in the United States; Madison Square Garden or Atlantic City. I want to make this happen. He’s saying I have his belt? It’s my belt. I fought the real fighter of the two. Castillo was shot. Hatton’s the best in the light welterweight division and one of the top two or three most popular fighters in the world. People are mesmerized by him. He has a lot of flaws I’ll expose. Louie (Collazo) exposed him. He’s a solid fighter who sent Hatton back to junior welterweight. If he wants to fight the best in his weight class, he should fight me, and he hasn’t fought a sharp shooter like Paulie Malignaggi. He also cuts easily. I’ve proven to be a good, tough fighter. Not only will have his hands full with me, he’ll get his first loss.

“Hatton keeps trying to brainwash people saying his two best fights were against the two best fighters he fought, Tszyu and Castillo, but they were shells of what they used to be when they fought Hatton. Luis Collazo was the best fighter Hatton fought and Luis really won that fight. Hatton’s made a career fighting guys past their prime. He fought one young lion, Luis Colazzo, and he doesn’t want to fight another one like me.

“If he stays in the junior welterweight division, we’re the two hottest fighters at 140, and the other top junior welterweights are busy. He shouldn’t talk about it; it should be about it. Mayweather isn’t going to fight him and Cotto’s going to fight the Margarito-Williams winner. It’s the same way he’s been with Junior Witter. Hatton fears guys like me and Whitter because we have movement and quick hands. Hatton avoids fighters like us. He’s been babied his first 43 fights. I’m his perfect contender on the East Coast – New York City or Atlantic City – and Witter’s the perfect contender for him at Wembley.”

If not Hatton, who else….
“I want the biggest fight out there – maybe, Casamayor. Paulie Malignaggi and Dmitriy Salita (27-0-1) is a big fight in New York City. We’ve been friends a long time but this is a huge fight in New York City. It would be a very interesting matchup.”

Italy…..
“I definitely want to defend my world title in Italy, preferably Sicily, because I’m Sicilian. I have a big fan base in Italy. They deserve to see one of their own –a world champion -- fight there. I want to give them a treat. Maybe, my second fight (as world champion) will be in Italy.”

Splitting up with his manager…..
“It was an amicable split. I appreciate all Sal (LoNano) did for me. We’ll always have memories of capturing the world title together. We have a lot of history.”

Sal LoNano: “I was with the kid 1 ˝ years and we did what we had to do to win a world title. We made an agreement that his last fight would be our last together. Between the people on his payroll and taxes, it just wasn’t feasible anymore. It was a mutual agreement. We accomplished what we set out to do and it feels great. Paulie will always be family. He had the broken hand, which reminded me of Micky Ward. I wish him nothing but the best and to win another world championship. He’s with Lou DiBella and Paulie knows the business of boxing as much as any fighter. Now it’s time for him to take over. I’ll still be involved in boxing as Frankie Figueroa’s new manager.”

Article posted on 11.07.2007



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