By Ryan Burton
WBA welterweight Paul Malignaggi is ready for tonight's 20th title defense against Pablo Cesar Cano of Mexico. The Italian-American fighter has faced many upper echelon fighters over the course of his career. He has faced the likes of Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan amongst others. During a recent edition of BoxingScene's official audio show, The Boxing Lab, Malignaggi said that the competition has made him a better fighter.
"In the end when you fight at a high level for a lot of years it makes you stronger. Its like the old saying, it either makes you or breaks you," Malignaggi stated. He also said that he doesn't think he has received the recognition he deserves for what he has accomplished as a two division champion.
"What I have accomplished is a good deal of stuff but I feel like I'm not respected like I should be and I don't think I ever will. I have set my bar high so I have a lot of other things I want to accomplish."
Malignaggi and former junior welterweight champion Devon Alexander engaged in a war of words last year and a fight between the two was close to being made in early 2012. Since that time Malignaggi has picked up a belt and Alexander is fighting Randall Bailey for his title on the same card as Malignaggi's defense against Cano.
Malignaggi thinks that an Alexander victory would make a fight between the two even bigger as it would be a title unification clash. The native New Yorker also revealed that a rematch against Ricky Hatton who will return to the ring after a three and a half year hiatus in November is the fight he covets the most.
"It definitely will be bigger now especially if he beats Bailey but nothing would match the financial security of a Ricky Hatton fight. I'm interested in facing all of the top welterweights but a rematch with Hatton is the one I am the most interested in," Malignaggi revealed.
You can listen to the interview in its entirety by clicking here: http://tobtr.com/s/3740637
Send questions or comments to [email protected] Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, BoxingScene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton