Malignaggi is seeking his second win in the welterweight division (Photo courtesy of Paulie Malignaggi's Facebook).
Former Junior Welterweight Champ and Cotto Added to Action Heroes Card
The second fight under the Golden Boy banner for former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (28-4, 6 KOs) has been booked, with the Brooklyn native set to battle Jose Miguel Cotto (32-2-1, 24 KOs) on April 9th in Las Vegas. The bout will be part of the Action Heroes card at the MGM Grand, which features Erik Morales taking on Marcos Maidana in the main event.
"I'm very excited to be on this great card that is generating a lot of buzz,” Malignaggi remarked. "I think fighting Cotto is a good test and an important next step at this point in my career as I climb back to the top of the sport. His brother, Miguel, is the best fighter I have fought in my career, so I know when fighting a Cotto, I have to be prepared. I'm excited for the challenge and the chance to keep proving naysayers wrong."
Never one to back down from high level competition, Malignaggi made his debut for Golden Boy this past December when he scored a sixth round TKO of Michael Lozada in Quebec. The bout was the first of his career at the welterweight division, setting into motion his mission of winning a world title at a second weight class.
“We promised to deliver the best fights for the April 9 pay-per-view, and we are continuing to do that with the addition of the always flashy and exciting Paulie Malignaggi against the experienced Jose Miguel Cotto," said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "It is going to be a clash of a boxer versus a puncher, plus Paulie is looking to avenge his loss to Jose Miguel's older brother, Miguel Cotto, in a fight you won't want to miss."
Cotto, who has just two losses in 35 professional bouts, comes into this pairing determined to make the most of the large opportunity at hand.
"This is going to be a great fight," he stated. "I've been in the gym training my hardest, and I feel ready. Having a big win over Malignaggi will move me closer to a title opportunity. I will not let this one go by."
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 over Herman Ngoudjo and then again defeated N’dou the following May. The Magic Man then vacated his title in September of 2008 to fight then-IBO Light Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton in the main event of a November HBO card in Las Vegas. After a two-bout series with Juan Diaz that ending with a convincing decision win in Chicago, Malinaggi put up a valiant effort in a loss to Amir Khan last May at Madison Square Garden.
Born in Brooklyn, Malinaggi moved to Sicily when he was only a few months old. At the age of six, he moved back to the United States and began boxing when he turned 16 years old, learning his craft at the legendary Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.