Paulie Malignaggi will retain his WBA welterweight title after Saturday night’s Showtime-televised clash at Barclays Center in his native Brooklyn, win or lose.
That’s because Mexican City rival Pablo Cesar Cano failed to qualify for the division’s 147-pound limit after three attempts to make weight on Friday.
Although Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs) is making his welterweight debut opposite Malignaggi (31-4, 7 knockouts) after having fought as a lightweight and junior welterweight in the past, the 23-year-old tipped the scales at 147.8 on his final try — this after having been granted approximately two hours from his initial mark of 148.4.
According to Malignaggi’s trainer, Eric Brown, a deal was put into place that will allow the fight to go on under the condition that Cano weigh no more than 157 pounds during a re-weigh on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Malignaggi weighed 146.2, and will pursue his fifth straight victory as well as his third knockout — all since rising into the welterweight ranks when he faces Cano, who can not win Malignaggi’s belt but was not finned by the New York commission.
In addition, Golden Boy Promotions’ matchmaker, Robert Diaz, told RingTV.com that Malignaggi will receive $50,000 of Cano’s $150,000 purse added to his own of $35,000 as a result of a deal worked out between the two camps.
“Between Cano’s team and Malignaggi’s team, it was worked out,” said Diaz. “There’s a $50,000 fine for not making the weight, and there is a 10 pound limit on how much Cano can weigh.”
Malignaggi-Cano is part of a stacked, Showtime-televised, nine-fight undercard to the rematch between RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia, of Philadelphia, and four-division title-winner Erik Morales, of Tijuana, Mex.
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.
In July, 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).
Malignaggi has not lost since falling by 11th-round knockout to Amir Khan as a junior welterweight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May of 2010.
During what will likely go down as a career-defining fight and in last appearance in April, Malignaggi faced a man who was physically bigger, taller and boasted more power in Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko, who had worked, at times, with Hall of Famer, and five-time Trainer of The Year Freddie Roach.