Malignaggi looks to be next in line if Mayweather and Pacquiao can't work out thier differences (Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime).
“The Magic Man” in Line if Mayweather Fight Goes Unresolved
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Monday, December 28, 2009) – After a commanding unanimous decision over Juan Diaz earlier this month, Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi may soon find himself in the ring with WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. Pacman was scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 13th in what was expected to be boxing biggest payday ever, but controversy surrounding the method of drug testing between the two fighters has that bout in serious limbo.
"I reached out to (Malignaggi promoter) Lou DiBella, and we're going to schedule that fight for March 13th unless something drastically changes with this Mayweather thing," Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com last week. "I'm not going to leave Manny without a fight because of this nonsense (with Mayweather)."
Problems arose in the proposed fight once the camp of undefeated Mayweather insisted that Pacquiao undergo Olympic style blood testing amid alleged accusations that the Filipino title holder had used performance enhancing drugs. Pacquiao immediately discharged the rumors, and a defamation lawsuit seems imminent now against Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions.
"Enough is enough. These people think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs," Pacquiao said of the accusations. "I have tried to just brush it off as a mere prefight ploy, but I think they have gone overboard."
Step in Malignaggi, who has proven once again that he willing to climb between the ropes with anyone. Pacquiao is regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but the style of Malignaggi is something that could cause difficulty for him. Malignaggi is a speedy tactician that will look to out-box Pacquiao, and many opponents of Pacquiao have made the mistake of coming in aggressively with killer intent, which literally led to them taking it on the chin.
Pacquiao has knocked out two of the fighters that have put blemishes on the record of Malignaggi in Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, and many make a mistake in referencing the bout between the Brooklyn native and Hatton. Fighting under Buddy McGirt, Malignaggi suffered a defeat to Hatton when his corner threw in the towel in the 11th round. The Magic Man clearly did not fight his typical style in the fight, and he immediately replaced McGirt with Sherif Younan after the bout. He has now returned to his original form and looked great in what should have been back-to-back defeats of Diaz, but stacked odds and a lopsided judging panel caused him his third professional loss in their first fight.
It still remains to be seen whether or not Mayweather and Pacquiao can resolve their differences, but Malignaggi is without question ready to step up to the plate if the opportunity arises. Regardless, boxing fans will likely see a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown one way or another. Only time will tell if it’s in the ring or the courtroom.