McGirt is Malignaggi's new head trainer

BROOKLYN, New York (October 7, 2006) - World light welterweight contender Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi and his manager, Sal LoNano, have officially announced the hiring of Buddy McGirt as Malignaggi's head trainer and chief second. McGirt, who handles Malignaggi's idol Arturo Gatti, replaces Paulie's only trainer from the amateurs to the pros, Billy Giles. Malignaggi (21-1), still rated No. 12 by the World Boxing Organization and No. 15 by the World Boxing Council, is recuperating from a fractured cheekbone suffered in his courageous 12-round loss by decision to WBO champion Miguel Cotto last June in Madison Square Garden.

"I'm excited to have Buddy McGirt in my corner," Malignaggi said. "I was very disappointed after my last fight and that feeling is something I never want to experience again. I'm turning over a new leaf. I'll be training at Buddy's gym in Vero Beach (Florida) for all of my fights. The weather there is better for training. Buddy's going to help me beat the best in the world."

McGirt is one of the most respected trainers in boxing today. He handles numerous champions and top contenders including Gatti, Antonio Tarver, Lamont Brewster, and William Guthrie.
"I'd never seen him fight until he came down to my gym last month," McGirt remarked, "but I heard a lot about him. I talked to Sal (LoNano) a couple of times about Paulie. Sal's a great guy and I agreed to take a look at Paulie. He has a lot of talent, a lot of natural ability, but he makes minor mistakes that we're going to work on.

"Paulie's been an arm puncher with no real snap. It'll come in time as he has more confidence in his punching ability. He's been getting by on his natural stuff. Once he grasps everything it'll be a totally different ballgame. He really hasn't found himself. He's only scratched the service. There's so much to do that he really doesn't know yet. Paulie can be world champion, no doubt about it."

LoNano managed "Irish" Micky Ward and through the famed Gatti-Ward Trilogy Sal developed a good relationship with McGirt.

"I saw Paulie not adjusting and responding during a fight," LoNano explained the switch to McGirt. "Billy was a good trainer in the gym but not always in the corner. There was no spark and too many people telling Paulie what to do. I knew we had to make a change, even before the Cotto fight, and when Paulie said he wasn't happy with Billy I called Buddy, He's a three-time world champion with great hand speed. His style is like Paulie's. I've always liked the way Buddy worked with young fighters, how he talks to them in the corner, and brings out the best in them.

"I have a lot of respect for Billy, who will remain a good friend of mine. He is a great coach, but sometimes changes are needed in the corner to take the fighter to another level. Paulie will be training in Vero Beach with Buddy later this month. I'm talking with Paulie's promoter, Lou DiBella, to get Paulie back fighting in January."

Article posted on 08.10.2006

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