WBA Super Lightweight Title on the Line at Madison Square Garden
New York, N.Y. (Wednesday, May 12, 2010) – The final words were exchanged today between Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi and Amir “King” Khan at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, which will be the host site of an HBO Boxing After Dark supercard this Saturday that features the two fighters in the main event. The two sides of the upcoming WBA Super Lightweight Championship met up today for the last press conference regarding Saturday’s showdown, bringing both boxers undeniably close to their much anticipated faceoff.
“It feels like it’s taken forever to get to this fight,” Malignaggi said today. “This is the redemption right here, this is what I was waiting for, because nobody thought I would be back in a world championship fight."
Malignaggi last stepped into the ring in December, and the Brooklyn native put on a dominating performance over Juan Diaz to avenge a highly questionable decision loss to Diaz last August. The pair of battles with Diaz elevated Malignaggi back to boxing’s forefront and now lands him in front of Khan, who is fighting as the WBA Super Lightweight Champion in his American debut on Saturday.
"I can't wait to beat him, you know, because Paulie needs shutting up, and I think I'm the only guy who can shut him up properly," Khan remarked at the podium during the press conference. "He won't think about coming back, because I think this is his only last chance he's ever going to get."
Malignaggi has been written off in the past, and he has already quieted a lot of doubters by getting back to a bout of this caliber. The former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion hooked up with a new trainer, Sherif Younan, over a year and a half ago, and he has arguably never looked better than he does right now. Khan is a fighter that has quickly risen to the top rankings of the sport in recent times, and the match-up between these two crafty boxers is one where speed will undoubtedly come into play.
Some questions that Malignaggi had today for Khan were revolving around his speed, and the inquires were focused upon how the British native would react to a fighter of Malignaggi’s ability.
“You can look fast against a punching bag all you want – when you throw punches, all they do is put their hands up – anybody can look fast against that kind of fighter,” Malignaggi stated before a series of questions. “Can you look fast against a guy who can match your speed? Can you look fast against a guy who – when you miss – is gonna punch you dead in the mouth? Therefore, the next time you want to throw a punch, you may be second guessing yourself. Now, are you still gonna be fast? That’s the question.”
Look for the answers to come this Saturday night.