Marcos Maidana welcomes Malignaggi challenge: Paul has balls

2 Nov

Tommy Barber – London

I’m up for it!” is the message Argentinean power puncher Marcos Maidana has issued upon learning of welterweight contender Paul Malignaggi‘s desire to fight him in February. Currently swimming in the super lightweight pool, Maidana – a champion of the ‘Regular’ WBA belt – has campaigned well at the weight, however, he is eager to test the welterweight waters and a match-up with the Magic Man could be made for early 2012.

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“I see that Paul Malignaggi challenged me for February,” said the fan-friendly 28-year-old. “I’m in for it! Now it’s up to my promoter Golden Boy.”

Maidana’s body of work at 140lbs has included knockout triumphs over Victor Ortiz and Victor Manuel Cayo, as well as registering points wins against DeMarcus Corley and Erik Morales. This, together with a 2010 classic fight with Amir Khan.

Likewise, Malignaggi (30-4-0, 6ko) boxed Khan but succumbed to a late stoppage defeat, however, he championed the IBF super lightweight title between 2007-08 and fights against Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton enhanced his profile and reputation: “Malignaggi has balls, he proved it versus Cotto,” noted Maidana (31-2-0, 28ko).

A slick boxer from Brooklyn, Malignaggi is undefeated at 147lbs having knocked out Michael Lozada before impressively decisioning Jose Miguel Cotto and Orlando Lora. The welterweight division may soon welcome the presence of Maidana as, he says he “cannot find anyone that wanted to face me at 140 except [Paul] McCloskey, but I’m told there is no money for it.”

A trip north, to a division that is home to Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Andre Berto and old rival Ortiz therefore looks imminent for thunderous puncher El Chino: “[A Malignaggi match-up] would be a great fight I think!”

Malignaggi who, like Maidana, is a part of the Golden Boy stable, commented: “I’ll step in the lions den, thats what it was made for.”

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