by James Slater – Will 23-year-old Amir Khan put a halt to the recent rejuvenation 29-year-old Paulie Malignaggi has shown when he faces him in New York on May 15th? Khan certainly thinks so – not only that, but he feels he will beat “The Magic Man” so comprehensively that the only place Malignaggi will have to go after the fight is into retirement.
Extremely confident ahead of his U.S debut, the reigning WBA light-welterweight champion told The Manchester Evening News that he very much plans to do a “proper job” on the fast-handed and slick operator who has only been legitimately beaten by Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton..
“Malignaggi can sell a fight,” Khan, 22-1(16) said. “He talks a lot and I need someone like that to get me a name in America. A lot of people want to se him get beat. No-one has done a proper job on him so I want to be the first person to do a proper job on him. He’ll be hanging up his gloves after this fight.
“Ricky [Hatton] stopped him in the 11th-round (in November of 2008), but I want to finish him off cleanly so there are no excuses. I want him to come out and say I beat him fair and square.”
Khan sure is talking a good fight, and so is his ace trainer Freddie Roach (who, incidentally, told The Scene that covers boxing how he feels Malignaggi will do well to last 3-rounds with Khan, at the most!), but the more I read what Khan has to say about the upcoming fight, the more I’m inclined to believe he is focusing too much on the quick stoppage, and that he will try too hard to score it when fight time comes.
Stopping the 27-3(5) Malignaggi, who is both defensively sound and as tough as they come, is no easy task. Only Hatton has thus far managed to do it, and Malignaggi blamed his then trainer Buddy McGirt for the tactics he gave him for that and a couple of earlier fights. And even then, Malignaggi was far from knocked out cold by “The Hitman”.
Khan, though, is the fastest guy Malignaggi will have ever been in with, and Khan has shown the ability to get the job done fast in a number of fights. But Malignaggi is no Dmitriy Salita (the fighter Khan blew away inside a round last time out) and I fully expect the proud New Yorker to give his young rival a very hard night’s work.
For what it’s worth, I see a distance fight – one that could go either way.