By Keith Idec
Paulie Malignaggi made two things very clear regarding his next opponent.
The WBA welterweight champion has no interest whatsoever in fighting Shane Mosley and he really wants to fight Marcos Maidana. Malignaggi acknowledged that a deal was never finalized for his much-maligned championship defense against Mosley, which was tentatively scheduled for April 27 at Barclays Center in Malignaggi’s native Brooklyn, and that they were “far apart on a lot of issues, not just money.”
With the Mosley deal dead, Malignaggi hopes his handlers can make the Maidana match for April 27. Malignaggi and Maidana are both represented by Golden Boy Promotions.
“I’ve been asking for Marcos Maidana for months,” Malignaggi said. “This made it look like I was avoiding Maidana to fight Mosley. I don’t know why Mosley ever got pushed on me to begin with, so it wasn’t really the end of the world. It wasn’t a fight that everybody was jumping to see, you know?
“I’d rather fight Maidana. Maidana has no fight scheduled and now, supposedly, I have no fight scheduled, so I don’t see how they can’t make me and Maidana. Maidana wants it, I want it, so let’s go.”
The 31-year-old Malignaggi overcame an 11th-round knockdown to defeat Pablo Cesar Cano by split decision in a 12-round, non-title fight Oct. 20 at Barclays Center. Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) was supposed to defend his title against Mexico’s Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs), but Cano didn’t make the 147-pound limit Oct. 19.
The 41-year-old Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KOs, 1 NC) announced his retirement June 4, following a one-sided, 12-round loss to Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 31 KOs) on May 5 in Las Vegas. The former three-division champion and first-ballot Hall-of-Famer is 0-3-1 in four fights since January 2009, however, including unanimous decision defeats to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Fans, promoters and reporters were critical of the Malignaggi-Mosley match since it seemed headed in recent days toward an official announcement. Moving in a different direction has made Malignaggi feel better about his next fight.
“I want a fight where if I win it, I’ll actually get credit for it,” Malignaggi said. “Beating Shane Mosley gets me no credit. I want a fight where I’m not doing somebody else a favor. I want a fight that means something to me. If I fight Marcos Maidana, it’ll probably be even-money odds or probably Maidana is favored. That’s a fight that, if I win, puts me on a different level.”
The 29-year-old Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs) has won both of his bouts by knockout since losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) nearly 11 months ago in Alexander’s native St. Louis. An eighth-round stoppage of Mexico’s Jesus Soto Karass (26-8-3, 17 KOs, 1 NC) in an entertaining slugfest Sept. 15 in Las Vegas was among those two wins for the heavy-handed Argentine slugger.
“I want to test myself,” Malignaggi said. “I’ve always been a guy who wants to test myself. I’ve never ducked anyone. The fact that people actually thought I was ducking Maidana to fight Mosley is a f***ing joke. And these fans and media should kick themselves in the ass.
“When the f*** have I ever ducked anyone, that I would actually duck Maidana to fight Mosley? Give me Maidana. Maidana wants me, I want Maidana, the fans want to see that, the media wants to see that. Let’s give them what they want. Give me Marcos Maidana. Let’s do it.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.