When Paul Malignaggi (pictured left) lost to Amir Khan in 2010 the feeling was that the Brooklynite was finished. It was his third loss in five fights and it was his second setback via TKO during that stretch.
Malignaggi has found new life since that loss, winning is last four bouts, including two by knockout. His most recent fight last April resulted in a sixth-round knockout of Vyacheslav Senchenko for the WBA welterweight title.
There were several factors motivating Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs), who will face Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, to continue his career. One of which was fighting in front of his hometown crowd.
“It feels great, man. This is one of the main reasons I was happy to sign with Golden Boy two years ago, [so] that I could be a part of this show and I could be a part of this event on a big stage in a big fight,” said Malignaggi.
Malignaggi last fought in Brooklyn on July 7, 2001 in his pro debut. Since then he’s fought at several venues in Manhattan and the Bronx and on Long Island. Being able to fight within a short drive of his home is going to be a thrill for him.
“I have worked hard and I have definitely been looking forward to the opening of the Barclays Center for two years, ever since I signed with Golden Boy Promotions,” Malignaggi said.
As for the notion that he was finished, Malignaggi acknowledged he is in a better place now mentally and physically. He cited how well he’s fought in his last four bouts as proof.
Said Malignaggi: “I think a lot of the talk about me being finished was overrated. A lot of the things that people say about me, the negative press is that I'm overrated, but in the end I think if you look, since I lost the Ricky Hatton fight I've had one bad performance in four years, and that was when I lost to Amir Khan. In the four years since I lost to Ricky Hatton one bad performance.”