Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Malignaggi-Lora to open Hopkins-Dawson pay per view
Paulie Malignaggi wants to be where the action is, and has set his sights on the top now that he is part of the welterweight division.
RingTV.com caught up to former IBF junior welterweight beltholder Paulie Malignaggi, who will try to continue his winning ways against Orlando Lora on the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson undercard Oct. 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The clash of 30-year-olds between Malignaggi (29-4, 6 knockouts) and Lora (28-1-1, 19 KOs) will be the first televised bout of the HBO Pay Per View card.
"I’m excited to be fighting in Los Angeles for the first time in my career. I have been training for the past year in Los Angeles," said Malignaggi, a native of Brooklyn, New York.
While Malignaggi is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Miguel Cotto (32-3-1, 24 KOs), whom he routed by scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93, Lora never has fought beyond eight rounds, and is in search of his third straight win since being stopped by David Estrada in April of last year.
"I’m ready for anything Malignaggi will bring to Los Angeles for this fight: his speed, his experience and his talk," said Lora. "I expect to walk through his punches, punish him and finish him."
After signing with Golden Boy Promotions as a junior welterweight and moving from the East Coast to the West Coast for his training, Malignaggi debuted as a welterweight with a sixth-round knockout over Michael Lozada (38-9-1, 30 KOs) in December of last year.
The stoppage was Malignaggi's first since knocking out Anthony Simpkins in the second round of his 10th professional fight in August of 2002. Malignaggi, who made his professional debut in July of 2001, began his career at 3-0 after scoring knockouts in the first, fourth, and, third rounds, respectively.
The win over Lozada helped Malignaggi to rebound from an 11th-round knockout loss to WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) suffered in May of last year.
The Lora fight represents Malignaggi's third straight fight as a welterweight. He is hoping to build momentum toward a title shot in a division whose beltholders are Manny Pacquiao, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Andre Berto and Floyd Mayweather Jr., of the WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC, respectively.
In addition, Malignaggi hopes to be included in a welterweight tournament that is being explored by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. Other names mentioned include former WBC and IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs), Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs), Marcos Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs) and five-belt, three-division titlewinner Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs).
Below, Malignaggi addresses the move to welterweight and an ongoing internet feud with Alexander, among other things.
Paulie Malignaggi on why he rose to 147:
"It's a division that could really create a spark if you know what I'm saying. There are a lot of name fighters who have worked hard to create their reputations, myself included.
"It's exciting just be a part of the welterweight division, because you're always a win away from being in that circle and being involved in a big fight. Obviously, it's something to look forward to."
"I was like, 'This a--hole.' I was like, 'S--t, man, this f--king a--hole.' I mean, I had nothing against him at the time. I wasn't even in the weight class anymore.
"He was still at 140, and I was making the move up to 147. I'm not talking about guys that I compete against, because I want all guys to make money.
On his name recognition:
On impending retirement:
"I don't enjoy this enough to be around much longer. I like the competing and I know that I will miss the competing aspect of it. But, you know, you can't fight forever, you know what I'm saying?
"Sometimes, it's even a chore to wind into shape sometimes. But I still do it, because the competitor in me still burns. Maybe if some of these big fights start to come my way, then I will still be into it.
"It was a decision that I'm very happy that I made, and I look forward to it hopefully putting me into a position where I'm in a big fight."
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org