The Magic Man Facing Juan Diaz in Houston
Malignaggi looks to take advantage of his speedy jab against Diaz on August 22nd
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Monday, August 10, 2009) – Less than two weeks remain until former IBF World Junior Welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi will step between the ropes to fight former IBF World Lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. Saturday, August 22nd, marks the date that these two premiere fighters square off in Houston for the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark special.
“Juan Diaz is a great fighter and is going to come to fight,” Malignaggi recently said in an interview with East Side Boxing. “We know that for a fact, but I will show the Baby Bull's weaknesses on August 22nd.”
Malignaggi has committed himself to going back to his early roots as a fighter and returning to the style of boxing that made him a world champion.
“You’re going to see the old Paulie Malignaggi back in action,” he continued. “We have got a great game plan on August 22nd, and I am ready for anything Baby Bull has to offer. We have got a great team, and I am going to put on a boxing clinic.”
Malignaggi was born in Brooklyn but moved to Sicily when he was only a few months old. At the age of six, he moved back to the United States and began boxing when he turned 16 years old, learning his craft at the legendary Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. He became the IBF World Junior Welterweight champion when he defeated Lovemore N'dou in a 12-round unanimous decision on June 16, 2007. He successfully made his first title defense on January 5, 2008, by taking a unanimous decision over Herman Ngoudjo and again defeated N’dou in a successful title defense last May. Although he did not lose it in the ring, the Magic Man vacated his IBF World Junior Welterweight title this past September to fight then-IBO Light Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton in the main event of a November HBO card in Las Vegas.
The Magic Man made his professional debut at the age of 20, scoring a first round knockout of Thadeus Parker on July 7, 2001. Prior to that, he had a stellar amateur career, winning the 1998 and 2001 New York Golden Gloves Amateur Championships, the 2001 U.S. National Amateur Championship and the 2001 Everlast U.S. Championship. His only two losses have come at the hands of the previously undefeated Miguel Cotto and Hatton.
Malignaggi (26-2, 5 KOs) last stepped in the ring just in April and took a unanimous decision over Chris Fernandez in the undercard of the Carl Froch-Jermain Taylor fight at the Foxwoods resort in Connecticut.