Paulie Malignaggi has had an eventful 2012. In April of this year, he won a world title at welterweight making him a two division title holder. However, he had to go on the road to beat then champion Vyacheslav Senchenko in his home country of Ukraine. Then in his homecoming to Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, Malignaggi won a controversial decision to some over a challenger who missed weight the day before in Pablo Cesar Cano.
With all that, Malignaggi was a major observer and live two weekends ago to witness the return and fall of one of boxing’s biggest stars in Ricky Hatton. Oddly enough, Hatton fell to one of Malignaggi’s victims in Vyacheslav Senchenko from a well placed body shot. Hatton could not get up. Some say the type of opponent was too much to come back to from the 3 year retirement stint Hatton had. Malignaggi agrees with that assessment. “It was surprising for me for him to take on that fight, but when you fight at the level Ricky fights, it’s tough to take a step down. Us guys, we have egos but we have to appreciate those fighters,” Malignaggi told ThaBoxingVoice.com
Malignaggi also thinks that Team Hatton may have underestimated Senchenko based off Malignaggi’s performance against him, especially since Hatton had already beaten Malignaggi at 140. “I also think he thought the same guy he beat 4 years ago in Paulie Malignaggi, was the same guy that beat Senchenko, but things are much different. I think he made a mistake. But hindsight is 20-20. We all thought he would come away with the win being that it was in England; even if he lost a decision, he’d still win. That body shot boy, and that’s how it goes.”
Not only was the capacity crowd in Manchester disappointed that evening, but the end result also ruined the big money plans that Hatton was to bring Malignaggi. According to Malignaggi, there would have been a home and home, where Hatton would come here to fight Malignaggi early next year, and then Malignaggi would travel to England later next year. But for now it’s back to the drawing board.
“There are a lot of good welterweights. Kell Brook Devon Alexander winner is an interesting fight; it would make for a unification. Robert Guerrero is a good fighter. Either (Marcos) Maidana or (Victor) Ortiz would make for a good fight. I’m blessed to be in a good weight class and have a great promoter.”
That great promoter he is referring to is Golden Boy Promotions. While in New York last weekend, Richard Schaefer spoke to ThaBoxingVoice.com regarding the return of Victor Ortiz. “Ortiz is doing much better, swelling is done, ready to go in March and that’s when we plan to get him back. He doesn’t want any tune ups, so we have to see about a fight with him and Paulie in March or April. From a timing point of view it might work out as well,” explained Schaefer.
However, there have been possible rumblings of another rematch against another UK star in Amir Khan. Khan has lost two straight and changed trainers. But should Khan win next week and want to test the waters at 147, Paulie Malignaggi would love to avenge that loss. “That’s (Amir Khan) another fight. He’s at 140 but if he comes at 147 we can make that happen. I said that in the Hatton fight, anytime you get a chance to avenge a loss, who wouldn’t want to get that opportunity, why wouldn’t I?”
When speaking to Schaefer on what the plans for Khan would be should he win and want to move up to welterweight, Schaefer acknowledge that rematch for Khan-Malignaggi is a possibility. “Things that happen with Khan and Paulie, they’ve gone in opposite directions. Now at 147, it could be a different fight and a possibility. Depends if Amir wants to stay at 140 or fight at 147. If he stays at 140, he wants to have revenge against Danny Garcia. Then I think he might stay, if not he moves up to 147 because there’s seriously not much at 140.”