IBF Light Welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi is ‘just waiting for the final word’ before confirming his hotly anticipated fight against IBO Light Welterweight champion Ricky Hatton. In an interview with Setanta Sports News during Steve Bunce’s Boxing Hour Malignaggi said: “I’ve been watching Ricky for years and I always knew I would end up fighting him.
“I’ve heard Ricky wants to fight in Madison Square Garden, I think it would be a mega event in New York. Ultimately I guess it’s where Ricky wants to go.”
Malignaggi was quick to dismiss rumours that he had been offered ‘step-a-side’ money to make way for Manny Pacquiao. The self styled ‘Magic Man’ made it clear that Hatton was firmly in his sights.
“I’m going to fight Ricky in the fall. It’s an opportunity I’ve been waiting for.
“I think if I took step-a-side money I’d basically be selling out and not giving myself the opportunity I’ve always craved.”
Brooklyn born Malignaggi insists he learnt lessons from his lacklustre performance against Lovemore N’dou at the City of Manchester Stadium earlier in the year.
“I was trying too hard to impress everybody out there. I think I should have concentrated on impressing everyone with my performance.
“But I managed to pull out the win and I look ahead to the future.
“Believe me; I’ll redeem myself with my performance in the fall [against Hatton].”