Malignaggi special Columbus Day Parade guest in New York City

NEW YORK (October 10, 2008) – No. 1 world rated junior welterweight contender Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs) briefly returns home this weekend from his Las Vegas training camp, where he is preparing for his November 22nd showdown against Ricky Hatton to determine the world’s No. 1 junior welterweight boxer, to be honored in Monday’s annual Columbus Day Parade on 5th Avenue in New York City..

Past Italian or Italian-American sports celebrities honored in past NYC Columbus Day parades include racecar driver Mario Andretti, boxing champion Nino Benvenuti, and baseball managers/players Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine.

“I am very, very proud of my Italian heritage,” Malignaggi said. “I am honored to be a special guest in this great parade that I’ve watched for so many years.”

Malignaggi was born in Brooklyn but his Italian immigrant parents moved back to Italy when Paulie was only a few months old. Six years later, the family decided to move back to the United States, but Paulie’s retired professional soccer playing father, Nello, still lives in Sicily.

Paulie Malignaggi Speaks Out

LAS VEGAS (October 8, 2008) – World-class junior welterweight Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs) took some time off from his Las Vegas TRAINING CAMP to offer his views on subject ranging from his November 22nd showdown against Ricky Hatton to abdicating his IBF title and a lot in between.

His IBF Title

“I’m very disappointed to give up my title. I did my best to win it and was very proud to wear it. I’ve never heard of the same boxer being the mandatory twice within the same year. I worked hard to get that title, but I was committed to fighting Hatton. Me and Ricky are the top two 140-pounders and we’re fighting to see who is No. 1. We could have asked for an exception requiring the winner to fight Ngoudjo next, but neither of us (Malignaggi and Hatton) would agree, so we let the IBF title go and allowed two guys we’ve already beaten fight for it while we take care of our business. We did Ngoudjo and Urango a favor by not asking for the exception and making them wait another six months to fight. I wish them the best of luck. This is the biggest fight of my career, IBF title or no title. I’m going to show the world that Paulie Malignaggi is the No. 1 light welterweight in the world.”

Hatton’s New Trainer

“Floyd Mayweather, Sr. is putting himself in a tough situation and putting a lot of pressure on Hatton. You can’t teach dogs new tricks. He can teach him a few things in two months, but Hatton doesn’t have the talent – natural speed and defensive ability. Mayweather’s been opening his mouth and when I beat Hatton, everybody is going to say he shouldn’t have gotten rid of his trainer (Billy Graham) and blame Mayweather. When they lose it’s going to cost Mayweather a lot of jobs.”

Training Camp

“I trained in the Poconos for a while. In between the press conferences (Las Vegas and London) I worked at Gleason’s (in Brooklyn). We moved camp last week to Las Vegas for a lot of reasons. I wanted to get used to West Coast time and there are plenty of good fighters in Vegas for sparring. I spar against different styles of fighters to stay sharp. I started sparring in the Poconos and everything has been good.”

His Right Hand

“It’s fine. I’ve been hitting hard. Everybody’s going to find out how good my hand is, especially Ricky Hatton.”

Ricky Hatton

“I’m confident in myself with the experience I’ve gained. I don’t worry about Hatton, his personal life or his change in trainers. I concentrate on being the best Paulie Malignaggi as possible.”

The Fight

“I’m focused on Ricky Hatton, not (Oscar) De La Hoya or (Manny) Pacquiao (Hatton has talked about fighting the De La Hoya-Pacquiao winner after Malignaggi). It’s going to be a very frustrating night for Ricky Hatton. He’ll be catching a lot. I’ll prove that Paulie Malignaggi is the No. 1 140-pounder in the world.”

Article posted on 10.10.2008

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