Khan (left) and Malignaggi (right) confirmed the fight today in London.
Championship Fight to Take Place at Madison Square Garden
London, England (Friday, March 12, 2010) – Negotiations for a proposed showdown between NABO Junior Welterweight champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi and WBA World Light Welterweight champion Amir Khan have reached reality, with a press conference today at London’s Leicester Square confirming the duo will meet up at Madison Square Garden on May 15th. The fight, which will air live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, will be the first fight in the United States by Englishman Khan and the first in New York for Brooklyn native Malignaggi in over three years.
“I have been inconsistent a lot, but there have been shining moments where I have looked tremendously good, and I feel I am getting back to that point now," Malignaggi said today. "I feel sharp, I feel good and with a strong team around me. I am now coming into my own."
A win in this fight would prove to be a major launching pad for either fighter, and the great tactical skill of both boxers will most certainly make this a very entertaining affair.
“I respect Paulie. He has some great fights in the past, and he's got a great record," Khan commented. "The only guys who have beaten him have been great fighters, like Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. But I think there's going to be another great fighter coming round who is going to beat him.”
Malignaggi (27-3, 5 KOs) moved back up the ranks in his weight division following a decisive win over Juan Diaz this past December, a fight where all three judges scored it 116-111 in his favor. Arriving for the fight in peak shape, the Magic Man put a nice cut over the left eye of Diaz and also scored a knock down in the 10th round of that bout. Malignaggi previously held the IBF Junior Welterweight title, but he vacated the belt to take on Ricky Hatton in latter 2008. He was unable to win that superbout but insists that much has changed since then.
"I am a much better fighter today than when I fought Ricky Hatton,” he remarked."
The man that will be on the other side of the ring on May 15th is a native of Bolton, England, and took the Silver Medal in his weight class at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Khan, who is currently trained by veteran Freddie Roach, previously won four titles when he fought as a lightweight.
Tickets for this fight are currently on sale through Ticketmaster, with prices ranging from $65-$555.