By Phil D. Jay
A report in a UK national newspaper was way off the mark in stating that a November match-up between Paulie Malignaggi and Ricky Hatton was ‘almost certain’ and the 'Magic Man' has spoken to WBN to reiterate his position on the matter.
Malignaggi has branded the information printed in yesterday’s Daily Star article untrue as ironically, his first defence of the WBA welterweight belt he won in Ukraine last April was announced the same day by promoters Golden Boy.
“Everyone knows you can't fight back to back fights,” Malignaggi told World Boxing News.
“I am fighting October 20th, so how can I fight in November? It wouldn't work out - but I hope the rumours are true for Hatton coming back.”
The 31 year-old also denied that a potential offer to fight Hatton later this year would have any bearing on him facing challenger Pablo Cesar Cano at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York as scheduled.
“I am already signed to fight Cano and that's who I am training for now. He is a dangerous fighter and I am not looking past him. If I don't beat him, there is no (possible) Hatton,” he stated.
“Nothing (can happen with Hatton) as of right now, I have to focus on Cano first. He’s in front of me right now and that's what I have to handle on October 20th.”
The New Yorker revealed to WBN that he is as in the dark as the rest of the boxing world on whether Hatton is planning to reignite his career, but remains enthusiastic about the possibility of avenging his eleventh round loss in 2008.
“I don't know (if Hatton will fight again), I hope he does, he is a great fighter and it would be big for boxing if he came back.
“It would be an honour (if the fight happened), that is one fight that doesn't sit well with me so I would like to revenge that loss. Ricky is a great fighter he won fair and square, but like any fighter I would like a rematch.”
On whether Malignaggi would be willing to return to England for the fight, he replied: “I would like my soil, then a third fight in England.”
Hatton, 33, is yet to comment himself on the possibility of him lacing up his gloves for a 48th professional fight, although his team have declared on more than occasion that the Mancunian is just keeping himself in shape and getting healthy....I guess only time will tell.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net