Malignaggi going Cherry picking Feb. 17 on HBO

BROOKLYN (November 30, 2006) – World light welterweight contender Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi returns to the ring February 17 against Edner Cherry in the 10-round main event on HBO live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Malignaggi (21-1, 5 KOs) hasn’t fought since June 10, when he lost a gutsy 12-round decision to the then WBO light welterweight champion Miquel Cotto, suffering a fractured cheekbone and nasty gash over his eye in the process..

“I’m excited to be fighting again, especially in my hometown and on HBO,” Malignaggi said. “Paulie Malignaggi’s going to be back in the national spotlight, fighting on HBO, which is one of the goals for all boxers. I’m in good spirits. I’ve been on the sideline and my fans have been wondering about me. They’re going to be excited when I comeback February 17 and I’m going to make sure the wait will be well worth it for them.”

Cherry (21-4-2, 10 KOs), the reigning NABF and WBC CABOFE lightweight champion, is coming off of impressive back-to-back TKO wins against Daniel Alicea (30-5-2) and previously unbeaten Monty Meza Clay (20-0) in the 12th and 11th rounds, respectively.

“I’ve seen him fight a few times but because he’s a lightweight I wasn’t looking at him as a potential opponent,” Malignaggi spoke about Cherry. “You have to commend him for stepping up to light welterweight against me. I guess he’s doing it to fight on HBO, which is a good thing, but fighting Paulie Malignaggi is never a good thing.”

Malignaggi’s promoter, Lou DiBella, and manager, Sal LoNano, worked to get Malignaggi-Cherry done. “We talked about Paulie’s return a lot at Portobello Restaurant (in NYC) and over the phone,” LoNano explained. “I feel good about this fight with Paulie coming off of the Cotto loss. Me, Paulie and my son, Frankie, who’ll work with Paulie’s strength-and-conditioning coach, will leave December 27 for Vero Beach (FL) to set-up training camp there with Buddy (Malignaggi’s new head trainer Buddy McGirt).”

Malignaggi worked with McGirt in Vero Beach for several weeks prior to returning home to Brooklyn for the holidays. “The chemistry between me and Buddy is excellent,” Paulie remarked. “I’ve already seen improvement in areas I haven’t mastered, yet. I’m learning new things from him. I’m not the type who likes to be told to do something without it being explained. Buddy was a fighter and whether it’s how to throw a punch a certain way, or about something defensively, he explains why I’m doing it with science behind it. Buddy knows a lot about boxing and when he instructs me, he always explains why and what we’re doing.”