Former IBF junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi often sees himself being on the outside looking in on a welterweight division governed by such names as WBC and WBO beltholders Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, as well as top contenders such as Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto.
Meanwhile, youngsters in the division, like former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander and unbeaten Englishman Kell Brook, have called him out as a potential “name” opponent in attempts to raise their stock in the weight class.
Nicknamed “The Magic Man,” the 31-year-old Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs) refuses to be classified as a “journeyman” fighter, having more or less given his career a second life by rising into the welterweight ranks.
Malignaggi has resumed his winning ways as a 147-pounder, where his slick boxing skills and energy level are bolstered by the fact that he no longer has to “suck so much weight.”
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Malignaggi has signed with Golden Boy Promotions, under whom he has won three consecutive welterweight bouts since being stopped in the 11th round by Amir Khan during Khan’s American debut at Madison Square Garden in May of last year.
Malignaggi is coming off a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision victory Orlando Lora on Oct. 1.
Malignaggi also suffered a controversial unanimous decision loss to Juan Diaz in the latter’s hometown of Houston in August of 2009, but avenged it the same way in Chicago in December of that year.
Malignaggi admits that he is nearing the end of the road in the sport, even as he is the midst of negotiations for a bout opposite unbeaten WBA 147-pound beltholder Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-0, 21 KOs).
Like Khan, Senchenko, who is from the Ukraine, is trained by Freddie Roach. Senchenko made the third defense of his belt with a sixth-round knockout of Marco Antonio Avendano in August.
If a lucrative bout with Senchenko or someone else can’t be made, Malignaggi cited several outside investments among the reasons he won’t stick around and be an “opponent” in the sport.
As one of the most gifted trash talkers in boxing, Malignaggi even lined up two recent stints as a color commentator for the British Broadcasting Company’s coverage of Lamont Peterson‘s split-decision victory over Khan on Dec. 10, and, Andre Ward’s unanimous decision victory over Carl Froch on Dec. 17.
Malignaggi shared his thoughts on his future in this Q&A.
RingTV.com: So where are you with the Senchenko fight?
Paulie Malignaggi: Well, we’re still in the middle of ongoing negotiations. We’re sort of at a stand-still in the negotiations and may have to go to a purse bid is a deal isn’t struck.
But I’m probably going to have to end up waiting until after the holiday season for things to pick up again, as far as the negotiations are concerned.
Or, we may end up going to a purse bid. We’re kind of at a standstill, which is probably the best way to put it. If Golden Boy wins the purse bid, then, we’ll obviously need Showtime or HBO to back us.
If Golden Boy wins the purse bid, then, obviously, we’ll bring the fight here. But I don’t know what’s going on yet, you know? But if I don’t get the deal that I like, then I’m not going to fight.
Unlike in the past, I’m not in a situation where I have to keep on fighting. I could retire today if I wanted to. I would be fine. I’m good, you know?
I like fighting and I like competing and I like being in the game. But I’m not going to put my head on a platter for people and just take a beating, you know what I mean?