WBA welterweight beltholder and Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi and middleweight contender Danny Jacobs, also of Brooklyn, were on hand during a Tuesday open workout for the media at the city’s famed Gleason’s Gym.
Their training was in advance of their separate appearances on the stacked undercard of a Showtime-televised, Oct. 20 event at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs) will make the first defense of his crown opposite Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs), of Mexico City, and Jacobs (22-1-1, 19 KOs) will pursue his third straight win with as many consecutive knockout against an opponent to be determined.
Malignaggi and Jacobs will be part of a show promoted by Golden Boy whose main event features a rematch between RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia and four-division title-winner Erik Morales,
Also, former IBF and WBC junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander will challenge IBF welterweight beltholder Randall Bailey, and Brooklyn resident Peter Quillin will face WBO middleweight titleholder Cameroon-born Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, of France, in a clash of unbeaten fighters.
Others on the show are Brooklyn-born ex-beltholder Luis Collazo, of Queens, welterweight Dmitriy Salita, of Brooklyn and Bronx-born Honduran junior middleweight Eddie Gomez and junior middleweight Boyd Melson, of White Plains, N.Y.
MALIGNAGGI WANTS TO PUT ON A SHOW
Malignaggi, 31, dethroned the physically bigger, taller, harder-punching and previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KOs) in April by ninth-round technical knockout in front of Senchenko’s hometown fans at Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Against Cano, Malignaggi said he is looking for a similar performance.
“The whole motivation was not just to defend a world title but to put on a show for Brooklyn,” said Malignaggi. “I’m here is to win and look spectacular and really make a statement. I expect Brooklyn to be in the house, that’s for sure.”
A former IBF junior welterweight beltholder in just his fourth welterweight bout, Malignaggi has not lost since falling by 11th-round knockout to Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) as a junior welterweight in May of 2010.
Cano has won three straight fights — two of them by knockout — since, himself, being stopped by Morales in the 10th-round of his junior welterweight debut in September. On July 21, Cano earned the WBA’s interim 140-pound belt with a seventh-round majority decision over previously unbeaten Johan Perez (15-1-1, 12 KOs).
JACOBS REFLECTS ON HIS PAST WITH GRATITUDE
Jacobs, 25, has overcome cancer and paralysis caused by a large tumor on his spine.
“To have gone through what I’ve gone through in the past year and a half, and to have this opportunity and attention, to have people say I appreciate you, it’s an amazing feeling,” said Jacobs.
“To have this amazing Barclays’ card on October 20, it’s going to be historical. The doctors told me I would never be able to box again. It was the crazy part of me that wanted to do what the doctors told me I couldn’t do.”
And that’s not all.
In July of 2010, Jacobs suffered a fifth-round knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog, this while already fighting with a heavy heart.
Jacobs had endured the cancer-related death of his grandmother, Cordelia Jacobs, the previous weekend. Immediately after facing Pirog, Jacobs fly back to New York to attend Cordelia Jacobs’ funeral the next day.
JOSE PEDRAZA TAKES ON REPLACEMENT TEVIN FARMER
Former Puerto Rican Olympian Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (10-0, 6 KOs) will now face southpaw Tevin Farmer (7-3-1, 1 KO), of Philadelphia, face in Friday night’s Showtime-televised main event at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Mo.
“I’m happy that I’ll be fighting this Friday on ShoBox as new opponent was found in Farmer. The fact that Farmer is a southpaw is something that I must embrace and prepare for,” said Pedraza, whose intended opponent, Allan Benitez (7-1, 1 KO), of Texas, had to pull out of the bout due to an elbow injury.
“I understand that this happens in boxing and my team and I are fully equipped to take on the challenge. My goal hasn’t changed, I’m coming to win and win impressively this Friday.”
In the night’s co-feature, Dominican middleweight Jonathan Cepeda (12-0, 11 KOs), of West Palm Beach, meets Lamar Russ (10-0, 6 KOs), of Hartford, Conn.
“Puerto Rico is loaded with young talent, and Pedraza is one of the best fighters to come from the island. A new opponent was found, and I’m happy to say that his incredible talent will be on display when he fights on ShoBox this Friday.”
Also on the card, former undisputed middleweight champ Jermain Taylor (30-4-1, 18 KOs) will return to the ring against Raul Munoz (22-15-1, 16 KOs).
In his last fight in April, the 34-year-old Taylor Ark., had to rise from a ninth-round knockdown for a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Caleb Truax (10-1-1, 11 KOs).
Munoz, 36, has been stopped 11 times, including in the second and sixth rounds, respectively, in his last two consecutive losses.
HUGO RUIZ TAKES AIM AT KOKI KAMEDA
Hard-punching bantamweight Hugo “Cuatito” Ruiz will pursue his 23rd straight win and his fourth consecutive knockout victory when he meets southpaw WBA “regular” titleholder Koki Kameda in Kameda’s hometown of Osaka, Japan, on Dec. 4 at the Bodymaker Colosseum.
Ruiz (31-1, 28 KOs), who is 26, will try to end a six-bout winning streak that includes three stoppages by Kameda (28-1, 17 KOs), a two-time title-winner who turns 26 on Nov. 17.
Kameda has not lost since March of 2010, when he was dethroned as WBC flyweight beltholder by Pongsaklek Wonjongkam following a majority decision.
Making the fifth defense of the crown he won by unanimous decision over Alexander Munoz in December of 2010, Kameda is among his country’s most popular boxers, often drawing 50 percent of Japanese homes in television ratings.
The WBA’s “super” champion is Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs), who takes a 27-bout winning streak that includes 10 knockouts into his clash for the WBC junior featherweight belt owned by Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs) in a Showtime-televised bout that is scheduled for Nov. 10 at The Staples Center.
“Hugo is going into the other guy’s backyard in a very big fight for the regular championship,” said Ruiz’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz. “But he is ready for this. He simply hits too hard for anyone to stand up to, and I expect him to score a huge victory.”
Photos by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org