With a welterweight title fight against Shawn "Showtime" Porter only 32 days away, it was surprising to see Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi behind the microphone in Puerto Rico this past weekend on Showtime and again last night in Boston on FOX Sports 1.
It would seem with a title shot looming that Malignaggi would have himself locked down in training camp somewhere. Clearly this is not Marvelous Marvin Hagler in seclusion at the Provincetown Inn on Cape Cod who used to refer to that monastic lifestyle as “jail” as he did his roadwork on the beach each morning.
With the fight announcement just last week, there was little time for either Porter or Malignaggi to prepare for the April 19 bout which will take place on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov headliner in Washington, D.C.
“I’m excited to be back in a title fight so soon after my win over Zab Judah,” said Malignaggi. “I will become a three-time world champion on April 19th. Porter is a good fighter and I’m sure he’ll be a champion again in the future, but he doesn’t have the tools or experience to beat me.”
Malignaggi has become an excellent color man on Showtime and FOX Sports telecasts. He breaks down fights like few have before him and does a great job explaining strategy and tactics. He is well-spoken and as a result he will be honored as the Boxing Writers Association of America's Sam Taub Award winner for "Excellence in Broadcast Journalism" at its annual dinner on May 1 in Las Vegas.
Malignaggi will train for the Porter challenge in his hometown of New York City under the auspices of Eric Brown. Never one to balloon in weight, the former jr. welter and welterweight titlist has been training lightly but will go into a higher gear beginning today. With less than five weeks before the bout and the final week usually a tapering off week – time is short.
Porter is undefeated at 23-0-1, 14 KOs and won the title this past December from Devon Alexander. He has not faced anywhere near the quality of opposition the veteran Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KOs) has in his 13-year long pro career.
For his part, Porter, a native of Akron, Ohio says, "I fought hard to get this title. Paulie says he wants it, but is he willing to go through me to get it? Fighting Malignaggi is like fighting Alexander. They don't have the strength or power to keep me away, and I will steamroll Paulie on my way to victory April 19th."
Porter is training in California and last week called Malignaggi his “next casualty” and that “I have always respected Paulie inside and outside the ring, so I know this fight will be no easy task. But come April 19th it’s one-hundred percent business. We’ve been training for months now and it’s good to finally have a fight set! We’re working hard as always!”
Porter was a decorated amateur with a mark of 276-14. He once served as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao and more than held his own in that capacity. Thickly muscled, the 26-year-old Porter commented earlier this week that he was cutting weight and interestingly enough said his favorite fighter of all time is none other than Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Pick up a copy of T.K.'s new book, The Fight Racket: Inside the World of Professional Boxing
Follow T.K. on Twitter
Friend T.K. on Facebook
Find out more about T.K. at about.me