By Bill Emes
Former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7KOs) is close to becoming the last addition to the stable of powerful boxing adviser/manager Al Haymon, who has such fighters as Floyd Mayweather, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz, Chris Arreola, Victor Ortiz, Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and an army of others.
Malignaggi has long been a critic of how Haymon's fighters get a lot more money, the biggest pushes and lucrative television showcases. After getting contacted by Haymon associate Sam Watson, and having some very positive conversations, Malignaggi is poised to bring Haymon on board.
While a deal has not been signed, Malignaggi says his discussions with Team Haymon are going in the direction of finalizing a deal.
Malignaggi returns on December 7th against Zab Judah at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Showtime will televise.
"I didn’t plan on fighting again. I have a good commentating job that keeps me around boxing, that keeps me around some fun fights, so I thought 'I'm just going to do this.' Then opportunity came, especially when Sam Watson called me from Team Haymon - and they basically had an outline of what they had in mind - two, three, four fights down the line....if I can keep being successful where they can take me. It kind of opened my eyes up. I said 'if I'm going to fight, this is the alliance that I kind of want.' I want to be associated with Team Haymon because they get their fighters the most money; they get their fighters the best fights," Malignaggi said.
"It's not a secret, Adrien Broner was the challenger in my last fight and he made more money than me. It's those things that at the end of the day when he called me - giving me the whole game plan and trying to get me to bite on it. And I thought that it sounded positive and thought 'if I continue to fight then this is the way to do it.' The competitor in you still wants to fight but you just don’t want to deal with the politics, the extracurricular stuff and working so hard and not being sure if things are going to work out for you. I felt that having that addition to my team made sense if I wanted to keep fighting."