“We’re discussing everything internally. We’re discussing what exactly the offer is now after Golden Boy gets their cut and all of this. We have to get back to Golden Boy. But if it’s not something that I’m not comfortable with, then I have no problem not taking it,” said Malignaggi, who has been given tentative dates of April 27 or 28.
“When I’ve had a clean conversation with everyone and the Golden Boy people, and we can get everyone together, then we will see what goes on. I haven’t made my decision yet, but I’m leaning more toward not going than going unless I get a call with a lot more stipulations that I’m comfortable with. Right now, I’m not comfortable with it.”
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.
“I’m not going to put myself into a situation where I have to go to someone’s hometown and lose, like I did with Diaz in Houston. I’m spacing out my money and I’m spacing it out correctly. Some of my investments are making money,” said Malignaggi.
“So I can box and also make money from other avenues, so I don’t have to box to live. But just based on the money right now, I’m not very comfortable with it. But I’ve made investments with my money, so I’m good.”
COULD EDWIN RODRIGUEZ-DONOVAN GEORGE STEAL THE SHOW AT MSG?
Few expect hard-hitting super middleweight Donovan George (22-0, 19 KOs), of Chicago, and boxer-puncher Edwin Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs), of Worcester, Mass., to take a backward step when they enter the ring on March 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“I’ve seen lots of tape on Rodriguez. He’s a big super middleweight and he comes to fight. I know that he’s going to be in tip-top shape and it’s going to be an excellent war,” said George, who has scored two straight knockouts since, himself, being dropped and stopped by Francisco Sierra in July of 2010.
“Obviously, I think that I’m going to come out on top. I don’t care if I win by split-decision, majority decision, decision or knockout. I just want to win. I’m going to lay it all on the line for this fight. I think you only get one opportunity in life, and this is it for me.”
Rodriguez, who is 26, won a clash of unbeatens by unanimous decision over Will Rosinsky in his last fight in October.
“Donovan is definitely a step up, and I’m just prepared for it and I’m getting ready for it,” said Rodriguez. “It’s huge to be on HBO and to be at Madison Square Garden, which is on the East Coast about four hours from where I live, so I expect to have a lot of fans there.”
Born of a Greek father and an Irish mother, George was 20-0, with 17 knockouts before losing to Sierra in a bout that wasn’t pretty. George is brutally honest about the effort.
“I know that I have that loss on my record, and it wasn’t just a loss, I got beat up in there. It was a horrific beating and everybody saw it. It was on national television. It was embarrassing,” said George.
“But I bounced back from that fight and I’m going to continue to prove myself. A fight like this on the biggest stage in the world is the perfect opportunity to show what I’m made of.”
George rebounded from the loss to Sierra with last February’s first-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Cornelius White, who came in with a mark of 16-0 and 15 knockouts.
In his last fight, George scored an eighth-round stoppage over Maxell Taylor, who was stopped for the first time on the way to his second loss 18 fights.
“I’m going train harder than I’ve ever trained before because I know that there is a high possibility that this fight is going to go more than eight rounds, which I’ve never been farther than. I couldn’t be more excited and I’m motivated. I’ve got a strength coach to give me an edge if that’s possible,” said George, who has gone as far as eight rounds only twice during his career.
“But I stand and fight. I throw shots and I take shots. That’s the pros and the cons of my career. I come forward and I’m always willing to take a shot to give one. It’s just going to be an action-packed fight. I’m going to try to tighten up my defense, but I know that it’s going to be a grueling fight and it’s going to come down to conditioning and who can take the better punch.”
Rodriguez believes that it is he who possesses the better whiskers.
“We know who has the better chin. I’ve never been down before, but I will allow my trainer to come up with the game plan and I’ll follow his game plan,” said Rodriguez. “My trainer is going to come up with a game plan to defeat Donovan George, and I’m going to execute it on March 17.”
Photos by Craig Bennett
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Emily Harney, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org