“The Magic Man” Being Honored Prior to Thursday Night Showdown Against the Storm
Malignaggi will kick off the first kick next Thursday for the Ironmen (Photo by Neil Abramson)
Newark, N.J. (Tuesday, February 10, 2009) - The New Jersey Ironmen announced today that former IBF World Junior Welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi will serve as the honorary captain for the team when they host the Chicago Storm on Thursday, February 18th. Malignaggi will do the honors of putting the first kick into motion during the Ironmen opening ceremonies at Prudential Center prior to their 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
“The Magic Man has been very supportive of the Ironmen, and we are happy to welcome him back to Prudential Center,” Ironmen General Manager Tony Novo commented. “Good things seem to happen when he is in the arena, so we are looking for him to bring us some good luck for this match.”
Malignaggi 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 victory 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. Malignaggi, a huge soccer enthusiast, spent a week in Italy training with AC Milan in preparation for his fight with Ngoudjo.
Malignaggi has amassed a profound 25-2 record in his professional career with five knockouts. The Magic Man, as Malignaggi is more commonly known, made his professional debut at the age of 20, scoring a first round knock out of Thadeus Parker on July 7, 2001. Prior to that, he had a stellar amateur career. He was the winner of both the 1998 and 2001 New York Golden Gloves Amateur Championships in addition to winning the 2001 U.S. National Amateur Championship and the 2001 Everlast U.S. Championship. His only two losses have come by the hands of then-undefeated Miguel Cotto and this past November against IBO Light Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton in the main event of an HBO card in Las Vegas.
Malignaggi was born in Brooklyn, New York, 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 he began boxing when he turned 16 years old. He learned his sport at the legendary Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, and he is currently trained by the renowned Buddy McGirt.
Prior to the Thursday night hosting of the Storm, New Jersey returns to Prudential Center on Wednesday, February 18th, for a school day game and business outing against the Detroit Ignition. Tickets start at only $10 and are available now by calling 1-800-IRONMEN.