Former junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi will take on Jose Miguel Cotto in a 10-round welterweight fight on the televised undercard of the Erik Morales-Marcos Maidana HBO Pay-Per-View event on April 9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev., according to a press release from Golden Boy Promotions, promoter of the card.
The Malignaggi-Cotto fight will take the place of the Winky Wright-Matthew Macklin middleweight bout that had to be scratched from the card after Wright suffered a training injury a few weeks ago.
“We promised to deliver the best fights for the April 9 pay-per-view and we are continuing to do that with the addition of the always-flashy and exciting Paulie Malignaggi against the experienced Jose Miguel Cotto,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “It is going to be a clash of a boxer versus a puncher, plus Paulie is looking to avenge his loss to Jose Miguel’s older brother, Miguel Cotto, in a fight you won’t want to miss.”
Malignaggi (28-4, 6 knockouts) is coming off of a sixth-round technical knockout win over Michael Lozada in December. The Lozada fight was the 30-year-old veteran's first bout in his new weight class of welterweight. The native New Yorker, who now trains in Southern California, dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Cotto's brother, Miguel Cotto, in a punishing 140-pound title bout in 2006.
“I’m very excited to be on this great card that is generating a lot of buzz,” said Malignaggi. “I think fighting Cotto is a good test and an important next step at this point in my career as I climb back to the top of the sport. His brother Miguel is the best fighter I have fought in my career, so I know when fighting a ‘Cotto’ I have to be prepared. I’m excited for the challenge and the chance to keep proving ‘naysayers’ wrong.”
Cotto (32-2-1, 24 KOs) is a 14-year veteran who represented Puerto Rico in the 1996 Olympics. The former lightweight contender has continued to find success as he has moved up in weight. Cotto, a well-preserved 33-year-old vet, has won four of his last five fights. The loss was a ninth-round stoppage to Saul Alvarez in a junior middleweight bout last year. Cotto badly staggered Alvarez in the first round of the fight.