“Devon is my bitch.”
That’s the phrase that was written on the shirt worn by former IBF junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs) following his lopsided 10-round unanimous decision over Orlando Lora (28-2-1, 19 KOs) on Oct. 1.
For Malignaggi, who turns 31 on Nov. 23, the win was his third straight as a welterweight since losing by 11th-round knockout to WBA/IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) in May of last year.
Feeling his oats, the veteran Malignaggi has launched into an attack on 24-year-old former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs), the man who could be his opponent in a planned HBO-televised double-header that might also feature a rematch between southpaw former WBC welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) and IBF counterpart Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) on Jan. 28.
Alexander is none too pleased about the antics of Malignaggi, as evidenced by his comments in this Q&A with RingTV.com.
Alexander lost his WBC junior welterweight title following an 11th-round technical decision loss to Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) in January, but bounced back with a 10-round decision win over hard-hitting RING No. 5-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs) in June.
Prior to facing Bradley, Alexander struggled through a decision over former titleholder Andriy Kotelnik in August of 2009, and claims that extreme weight loss contributed to what he considers to have been less-than-stellar efforts against Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthysse.
Still ranked No. 4 as a junior welterweight by THE RING, Alexander has vowed to look impressive in a punshing potential knockout victory over Malignaggi.
RingTV.com: If you were in a room with Malignaggi all alone and could look him directly into the eyes, what would you say tol him?
Devon Alexander: I’m going to beat your a–. You don’t really want this. You think that you want this, but you really don’t want this fight.
RingTV.com: So are you in training for a fight right now?
DA: Yeah, we’re training pretty much every day. We’re working. We’re just staying in shape. We’re training every day.
RingTV.com: Well, I guess that you see that Richard Schaefer is trying to put together this double-header, which features the fight that you’ve wanted against Malignaggi?
DA: Malignaggi is a suitable opponent for me. Especially at 147. You know, he’s been in there with some of the best. Obviously, I feel that he’s a formidable opponent. If we get a chance to get it on, it’s going to be a good fight.
RingTV.com: Do you feel as if his style is a good style for you to be up against, given that he’s more of a pure boxer and you’re a southpaw boxer-puncher?
DA: I like my odds, because I kind of like to slug myself. I don’t have to box as much. He can do all of the boxing. Sometimes, I like to get in there and chase, and so I will chase, and I will get in there and knock him down.
I can’t wait to get my feet wet in this division. Paulie Malignaggi is a good fighter with a well-known name in boxing, so it’s nothing major.
I definitely going to show people that I can make a fresh start at 147. It’s a great show to be on, definitely, and me moving up in weight to this division, it’s going to bring all of my energy back.
You will see the footwork that I had before. I’ll be able to move and I’ll be able to do everything with energy. It’s a blessing in disguise.
It’s great for me that I’m able to move up and be No. 1 in the WBC in the division without even having my first fight.
RingTV.com: Would the last time you had to be the chaser be the Miguel Calilst fight in 2008, when you won, 120-105, and, 120-106 twice?
DA: Yeah, I would say Miguel Callist would be that fight. That’s probably it. When I won the WBA continental title. I can box or I can punch, either way that it goes.
I can box or I can slug. It don’t matter. I can do both.
RingTV.com: Have you developed a personal dislike for Malignaggi, and, if so, has this ever happened for you against any prior opponent?
DA: Yeah, you know, because I saw what he did on television. I saw that shirt that he had on. You know, I don’t appreciate nobody calling me no bitch or whatever.
So, you know, it’s all good. If that’s the way that he wants to play it, you know, then I’m going to show him why he shouldn’t have done that.
I’m telling you, when the fight’s done, it’s going to be on. I’m haven’t developed any dislike for anybody that I’ve fought, but the ultimate way of trashtalking is to get in there and to kick some a–.
So that’s what’s going to happen. That just makes me want to get in there and kick that a– even more. So Paulie Maligna ggi, he’s talking himself into a fight that I’m not sure that he really wants.
So, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening when he finds out what he’s talked himself into. He is just constantly trashtalking and saying what he’s going to do to me and saying that I’m a bum and all of that.
Which is fine, but we just need to get the fight done, and I just need to get in there with Paulie Malignaggi so that I can thrash that a–. I’m definitely going to show well at 147. I don’t feel any pressure at all. Zero.
I know what I’m capable of doing, and can’t nobody tell me about the skills that I have. I know that I have the abilities to be the best fighter in the world.
My energy levels in the past were at 65 percent, but at 147, it’s going to be at 100 percent. Everyone’s going to see how good I can be at 147, especially Paulie Malignaggi, I promise you that.
Photos by David Martin Warr, Don King Productions.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com