Paulie Malignaggi has vowed to claim his third world title this weekend after he felt he was unjustly stripped of his belt against brash-talking Adrien Broner.
The Brooklyn star goes in against the newly crowned IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter this Saturday night, live on BoxNation, on a stacked card headlined by the ageless Bernard Hopkins who faces Beibut Shumenov in a light-heavyweight world title unification.
But, it is the matchup between the slick Malignaggi and the all-action Porter which has the potential to steal the show, with the seasoned New Yorker adamant that he will bounce back to win his third world title following the loss of his WBA crown to Broner last year.
“I think, as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t lost at all in the last three years. Adrien Broner was given my world title, so I feel like I need to win another world title to kind of rightfully get what’s mine,” said Malignaggi.
“I deserve to be a world champion; I should not have lost that bout. It was basically a win for Broner where I basically became a filler for Adrien Broner’s bullshit resume that he has.
“My name just became a filler on that resume, and I feel like for that reason I need to get a world title to kind of redeem myself and get what’s rightfully mine.
“I mean Shawn worked hard for his, but it’s a world championship that I want and now I got the chance to do it. So I’ll look forward to the challenge. I’ll look forward to putting on a good show on Saturday,” he said.
It was following his win against Devon Alexander last December that Porter came to prominence with his commanding unanimous points victory dethroning the tricky southpaw.
The 33-year-old Malignaggi was the star attraction that night as he took on – and beat – fellow Brooklyn rival Zab Judah at the Barclays Center, but it was Porter’s performance which caught ‘The Magic Man’s’ eye.
“Once he beat Devon, Shawn put himself in another level, which is the level of guys like me who will look at and say, ‘Oh, you know what, he’s a guy to be reckoned with, he’s a force to be reckoned with, and I might wind up in the ring with him.’
“All the other stuff didn’t matter before that. Once you become world champion I think you put yourself, you set yourself apart from the rest of the class, and Shawn did that by winning the world championship,” he said.
The 26-year-old Porter is known for his come-forward aggressive style, something which Malignaggi is confident he will exploit.
“I think the trick is always to take what a fighter does best and kind of try to minimise it or take it away from him,” he said. “So one of Shawn’s best assets is that aggressive physicality, so as a fighter, as a veteran of the sport, as a guy myself who has been around some of the best fighters in the world and has been trained with some of the best trainers in the world, including the one I have now, Eric Brown, I think you gain a lot of knowledge going through all of that,” said Malignaggi .
“It’s not out of the question to say Shawn is a very good fighter, but at the end of the day there’s traps that can be set for that kind of aggressiveness, and there’s traps that will be set for that kind of aggressiveness,” Malignaggi added.
The Ohio native is unfazed at Malignaggi’s claims and believes confidence from his recent win against Alexander and the fact he’s sparred with some of the very best will help spur him to victory.
“Yes [the Alexander fight is] a pretty good blueprint for going against someone like Paulie, and then you take into account everything I’ve done up until this point,” said Porter.
“Sparring with Manny Pacquiao, I mean there’s no better blueprint than that. The guy’s got the quickest hands and feet in the business. So I have all the experience in what it takes to beat Paulie, and it’s just a matter of getting in there on Saturday and doing it.
“It’s been a few years since I’ve been involved with Manny’s camp. The Shane Mosley fight was the last time I had done anything with him,” he said.
The undefeated Porter, who has an impressive amateur background, goes into the bout with less wear and tear on his body than his hardened welterweight challenger but still regards him as one of the very best at 147 pounds.
“He’s right up there, he’s at the top,” said Porter. “I think out of everyone I’ve fought, other than Julio [Diaz] and Devon, he’s got the most spirit. So I know what I’m up against April 19.
“I’m up against a crafty veteran, someone who’s got the hands, feet, and likes to hustle his hands, and like he’s said, he’s in shape. So I’m prepared to come in there and be in just as great a shape as he’s in and be just as smart as he is, and be aggressive and do what I have to do to hold onto my title,” declared Porter.
Also featuring as the third title fight on the night will be unbeaten WBO middleweight world champion Peter Quillin, who goes in against the experienced Lukas Konecny, as he eyes a showdown with the other leading names in the division, including Britain’s Martin Murray.
Hopkins vs. Shumenov & Malignaggi vs. Porter is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) this Saturday night. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.