After seeming to retire following August’s loss at the hands of Danny Garcia, former world champion and current Showtime analyst Paulie Malignaggi (34-7, 7ko) had a pretty swift change of heart, boxed again last month in Italy, and now claims he wishes to chase the European welterweight title, given that he is eligible to do so through his Italian ancestry.
The soon-to-be 35 year old Malignaggi was stopped in 9 by Garcia in what was an emotional night in August, ostensibly signalling the end of an era for the proud Brooklyn resident – who gave an impassioned post-fight ‘retirement’ speech – although a little over 6 weeks later he was back in the ring in Europe, beating journeyman fighter Laszlo Fazekas (27-21-1) over 8 one sided rounds in Milan.
“I was tired and not in great shape but I was able to handle my business,” Malignaggi said to fighthype.com regarding the Fazekas fight. “I didn’t have a long time to train for the fight and I’d just come off a nice vacation in Europe and had a lot of weight to lose!
“I put in the work, I probably could’ve used the 8 rounds so, [I’ll] take it like a good sparring session and try to work off that. [Next] I’d like to go after the European title so we’ll see,” he added.
The current European welterweight champion, perhaps conveniently for the “Magic Man,” is Italy’s Gianluca Branco (49-3-1, 24 ko) – a 45 year old veteran who some may remember from losses at world level to both Arturo Gatti in 2004 and Miguel Cotto in 2006 – both at 140lbs and his only steps up in class. He also has a points loss for the EBU 147 belt in 2010 on his ledger, when he came up short against Matthew Hatton – brother of former 140 lb boss, Ricky – in Essex, England.