Paulie Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) hasn’t fought in nearly a year since being blown out badly by Shawn Porter last year in April, but it now looks like Malignaggi may be starting to show interest in returning to the ring. Malignaggi is saying that a fight against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (33-0, 22 KOs) is one that would be interested in.
Brook doesn’t have an opponent for his next fight in early 2015, and it’s quite possible he might be interested in someone like Malignaggi. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn needs someone who is good but obviously not that good because Brook is fighting or the first time since suffering a thigh wound in a knife attack.
Malignaggi would be a better option than many of the top 15 contenders if Hearn is looking for a fighter that will interest the boxing public, and give Brook some rounds.
“Kell Brook has a world title so he interests any top welterweight. Who wouldn’t fancy a chance to win a world title?” Malignaggi said to the Dailymail.co.uk. “An opportunity to win a world title is one I don’t think anyone would turn down.”
It would be an optional title defense for Brook. His IBF mandatory is Jo Jo Dan, who recently defeated Kevin Bizier in a rematch last December. Malignaggi would be an optional title defense for Brook, but one that would be a better than average defense. Brook doesn’t have a lot of choices for well-known opponents.
Hearn wants someone who the American boxing public are familiar with, and Malignaggi fits the bill in that department. He’s not ranked in the top 15, but that’s not something that will keep the fight from getting made if Hearn and Brook wants it.
If Brook really wanted to impress the American boxing public he’d look to defend his IBF title against someone like Keith Thurman, Marcos Maidana or Robert Guerrero, but it’s not up to Brook in who he faces. His promoter Hearn is the one who makes the fights for him, and he doesn’t appear to be looking to match Brook tough for his first defense of his IBF title.