Paulie Malignaggi: the Italian-American, fast talking jelled hair boastful, never biting his tongue, former IBF Light Welterweight Champion and the new WBA Welterweight Champion after going into enemy territory with all the chips stacked against him came back victorious in dominating Vyacheslav Senchenko en route to a second world title in Ukraine.
We had the chance to catch up with Paulie Malignaggi and ask a few questions.
Thaboxingvoice.com: how has the reaction been after this big win and returning to states?
“Everyone’s been great! For a few days I wasn’t sure if it really happened, but then they presented me with my copy of the WBA title at the Floyd Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto post fight press conference and ever since I’ve gotten that belt if I don’t feel it’s real I can look at that belt and remind myself that this all did happen, I’m still on a high I’m still excited and it feels good!”
Thaboxingvoice.com: Who did you pick to win last Saturday night Floyd Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto at the MGM in Las Vegas?
“I picked Cotto to have the best chance to beat him, Cotto had a chance to stop him but I bet Mayweather by decision also bet on Cotto by knockout, I won with Floyd Mayweather by decision. Cotto’s a good pressure fight in terms of how he made Mayweather uncomfortable. Cotto’s rough and physical he doesn’t give you a chance to rest a lot of times and he has really heavy hands that dish out some punishment. Floyd got touched a little bit but I felt Floyd looked like a master in there, he showed why he’s the best fighter in the world. In the end I had the fight 7 rounds to 5.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: Paulie, no disrespect but did you take Antonio Margarito’s plasters with you to Senchenko fight to puff up your pillow fist?
(laughs), “you know what man people keep asking me that, it’s so funny, but nah you know I was fortunate enough to have his eye closed, so we got the stoppage and it kind of was a bit of luck to. I managed to land a great shot that closed his eye and from there I kind of forced the stoppage because I don’t know if I would have got the stoppage without his eye closing; you know I wasn’t winning by decision over there.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: Did you go over there expecting to get a stoppage because one of the judges had him up on cards?
“yeah yeah I went in with the mindset just do what I have to do, don’t think about the judges in the back of my mind I felt they were going to try to screw me but I didn’t want to give it too much thought. I didn’t want it to affect my performance I wanted to fight the best fight I could fight; I said what if they screw me? I probably would have ended up walking away from this sport.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: Mentally and physically you looked good maybe even different did you do anything new in camp?
“Nothing really I had the same strength trainer since I moved up to 147 pounds. We didn’t do much different we just always work hard, at the end of the day I think it’s just the extra 7 pound from the move up from 140. My body is actually able to breath, but at 140 I was suffocated; it’s funny because before the fight everyone was saying I look too small and after the fight they said how big I was (laughs). I guess when you get a stoppage you start to look bigger?”
Thaboxingvoice.com: What was your mind set knowing you had to go to enemy territory and the fact golden boy promotion had been out bid?
“As far as being out bid it wasn’t Golden boy’s fault the networks didn’t want to buy it and it’s tough to win purse bids without network backing the fight. It really sucks because most networks put on some pretty terrible garbage with garbage fighters versus some good fighters. Sometimes fights don’t even belong on ESPN network but then they wouldn’t take my fight.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: You made it public that 300,000 for this fight wasn’t enough money to go overseas and you were trying to get an extra 30,000, did that happen for you?
“We didn’t end up getting any more money. What happen was the fight I wanted was the Roberto Guerreo fight, but he didn’t want the fight so I had no choice. I wanted to fight so what are you going to do? Apposed to not fighting at all I just took the fight, it’s still decent money.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: One fight that was mentioned was a possible clash versus “Super” Zab Judah in the Barclay center in Brooklyn?
“I’m open to that fight but it can be whoever just as long as the money is right; 147 is a stacked division and in Brooklyn it will be a great event, that’s what I want a great event!”
ThaBoxingVoice.com: Are you looking to get the “Canelo” Alvarez treatment and be show cased, or not matched so tough?
“Nah, not at all, at the end of the day this is a business and money talks so if the money’s right put me in with the wolves.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: You say you’re in the position to pick who you want to fight, that’s what we want to know. Who do you want?
“I want the best welterweights in the world, you want a name? I want Floyd Mayweather! He’s got nowhere else to go and he’s not going to fight Pacquiao when he gets out of jail; he’s going to need a fight. I’m a cerebral fighter; I fight with my brain I don’t fight with just muscles and baron. I’m able to adjust on the fly. I feel I have a great situation, not just in the ring but outside the ring. My team is the best team around me that I’ve had in my whole career; it’s just the best time to go for it! Everyone expected me to lose in the Ukraine and I got the KO and came back with the belt. Put me in with Floyd and let’s see what I do. What’s the worst that can happen, I lose? Everyone thought I’d lose in Ukraine.”
Thaboxingvoice.com: Have you moved passed the feud with Devon Alexander?
“The feud is still there obviously, when you have two competitors in the weight class there’re always going to be feuds no matter what. The feud can always be brought back up with money on the table. I fight for money, I’m a prizefighter; we can have a feud with Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Floyd Mayweather. We can have a feud with whoever the money says we can have a feud with. Money right, let’s make the fight!”