By Mitch Abramson
Paulie Malignaggi, the brash boxer from Brooklyn, didn’t get the main event he was looking for to open the new Barclays Arena in Brooklyn in Oct. 20. But the WBA welterweight champion, who will face Pablo Cesar Cano in the co-feature that night, told BoxingScene.com that he’s working on “doing something big” down the line, possibly in Brooklyn, without elaborating further.
Malignaggi’s advisor Anthony Catanzaro also declined to comment on Sunday about the potential fight or when an announcement might be made. But both promised it will be headline worthy when it is revealed.
“Not to overlook Cano, but we’re working on some big things after him,” Malignaggi said. He wouldn’t comment about it further, only that it could take place at the Barclays Arena on some future date.
Malignaggi did say there was discussion of a possible fight between him and Zab Judah to open the Brooklyn arena on Oct. 20, but he said that Judah insisted the fight be at a catch-weight below 147 and Malignaggi didn’t feel compelled to move down, especially after he won a world title at 147 pounds.
“I have to do what’s best for me and Zab has to do what’s best for him,” Malignaggi said. “We couldn’t come to terms.”
Other boxers, such as Ricky Hatton and Devon Alexander, were also floated as possible opponents for Malignaggi in the first show in the Barclays Center, he said.
Dmitriy Salita, the former title contender from Brooklyn who’s also fighting at the Barclays Center on Oct. 20, is still chasing a fight with Malignaggi. The two are friends from their amateur days, but that hasn’t stopped Salita from lobbying for a fight with Malignaggi at a future date. While Salita wasn’t able to secure a bout with Malignaggi on Oct. 20, he’s confident the fight will eventually happen.
“I think it’s very likely [we’ll fight] and that’s what the fans have wanted for a very long time,” Salita told BoxingScene on Thursday at the press conference to announce the Barclays show.
“We both won the New York Golden Gloves together; we both turned pro at the same time,” Salita went on. “Paulie did a great job of winning a title, so the stage is set. I had a really good win [on Aug. 4 against Roberto Valenzuela] so I think it would be great for boxing, it would be great for Brooklyn, great for New York. A fight with me and Paulie won’t just be a fight- it will be a cultural event. So I hope that it can happen.”
Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com