Malignaggi looks to make his welterweight debut in Italy (Photo by Augustine Dashiell, Plainfield Sports News).
Magic Man Plans to Take Next Fight in Italy
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Thursday, May 27, 2010) – Former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (27-4, 5 KOs) has decided on the next move in his professional boxing career, and that is to go up in weight class and fight as a welterweight. His first bout in the division could come as early as the end of this summer, and Italy is the anticipated location of the debut.
“Now that I need a fight for my comeback, why not do it in Italy?” Malignaggi said. “I know a lot of people want to see me fight in Italy. This would be a chance for people there to see me live. Maybe I can get the Italian welterweight title, make it interesting.”
Malignaggi spent the first six years of his life in Italy and holds a dual citizenship both there and in the United States. The current Brooklyn resident had briefly contemplated retirement after a loss to Amir Khan earlier this month at Madison Square Garden, but the lure of the ring was too much for him to ignore.
"Financially, I don't have to fight again,” Malignaggi continued. “I've done well for myself. I don't have to fight, but you wonder what will you do with yourself? I'm a fighter. That's what I do. I am a fighter to the core. It's something you miss if you stay away from it, so while I still have the option, let's see what I can do. It might be fun to go the European route."
Malignaggi should have a much easier time at making weight in the welterweight division, as the grind of constantly getting himself under 140 pounds had to be taking a toll on his 29-year-old body. The Magic Man should be much more comfortable fighting at 147 pounds, and being at a more suitable weight will enable him to keep his legs much fresher come fight night. He also has a boxing style, one which focuses upon quick head movement and speedy fists, that is very popular in Europe. With all that said, the truth of the matter is Malignaggi is a fighter who is too skillful and competitive to end his career on the note that it was left at Madison Square Garden after the bout with Khan.
“He would like to go out better than he did in the Khan fight,” promoter Lou DiBella stated. “Paulie wouldn't mind spending a little bit of time fighting over in Italy, going for the Italian title, maybe the European title."
Malignaggi is indeed believed to have his long-term sights set on getting a crack at the European title, which is currently held by Matthew Hatton (39-4-2, 15 KOs), brother of former world champion Ricky Hatton. As far as who he will fight in his upcoming welterweight debut, notification is expected in the next couple of months.