Paulie Malignaggi recognizes that he will be fighting "a younger, bigger guy" on April 19 in IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter, who says that he plans to "steamroll" Malignaggi when they meet at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. on Showtime.
But the 33-year-old Malignaggi (33-5, 7 knockouts) believes that his veteran technique can be more effective against the 26-year-old Porter (23-0-1, 14 KOs) than the average fan may realize.
"I know most people are thinking that I can't win the fight and that most people are picking against me, but I'm not just a guy out there who is surviving without a big punch. There's a craftiness there and there is a reason that I've been around for a long time and why I can continue to stick around at this level," said Malignaggi.
"It's not like I have been matched carefully and taken care of. So I'll try to use my experience. Boxing is so much deeper than a lot of people understand. When I'm fighting, I get to put that on the line and I'll put that to the test again. I'm actually better than I've ever been given credit for being, and I plan to show that on April 19."
The 26-year-old Porter won the belt in his last fight by unanimous decision, dethroning Devon Alexander by unanimous decision and leaving his smaller rival cut and bloodied.
Porter has fought as high as junior middleweight, and is a former sparring partner for eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao.
"He's going to be a younger, bigger guy in there, and a physical guy, but the IBF has a 10-pound rule for when we have the next-day weigh-in, so the weight that he puts on, it's not going to be that much more than me, regardless," said Malignaggi of Porter, who ended Alexander’s winning streak at four consecutive bouts since falling to Tim Bradley, the current WBO 147-pound beltholder.
"But he is a very physically strong kid, and a very physically fit kid, so there are a lot of things that I have to deal with. But I feel like I'm a fresh 33, and it's not like I've had a lot of tough fights, physically, and I haven't been boxing since I was 10 years old like a lot of other guys. I saved myself a lot of wear and tear by starting boxing later in my life. I started boxing when I was 15 and didn't have my first fight until I was 17, so I think that has helped me in the long run, and you'll see that again next month."
Malignaggi-Porter will be the second bout on a Showtime-televised card headlined by the 175-pound title unification bout between the IBF's Bernard Hopkins and the WBA's Beibut Shumenov at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. The event will also include Peter Quillin's third defense of his WBO middleweight title against Lukas Konecny.
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75, $200 and $300 and are on sale now and available online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000. The D.C. Armory Box Office will be open on fight night only from 3 p.m.-10 p.m., ET.