Boxing


Paulie Malignaggi Set To Return On Froch-Taylor Show?

by James Slater - "The Magic Man," Paulie Malignaggi has been uncharacteristically quiet as of late. Not having heard a thing from the flashy New-Yorker since his 11th round retirement loss to Ricky Hatton back in November of last year, fans have been wondering what the slick 28-year-old's plans for the future are. Well, according to BoxRec.com, Malignaggi will make his return to the ring in a scheduled eight-rounder at light-welterweight on the under-card of the April 25th super-middleweight title clash between Carl Froch and Jermain Taylor. Set to face an opponent yet to be named, Paulie will be having his first fight in over five months..

Not a long layoff by any means, Malignaggi will likely be reasonably sharp and ready to fight. The loss to Hatton was only the Brooklyn man's second pro defeat, and against certain top-notch 140-pounders Malignaggi figures to remain competitive today. Though he was stopped against Hatton - trainer Buddy McGirt's decision to pull his man out at just 48 seconds of the 11th round seeing to it that he suffered his first ever stoppage loss - it could be argued that Malignaggi took more punishment in his other loss, the one to Miguel Cotto.

Paulie, 25-2(5) sucked it up against Cotto and though he was banged up and bloodied he made it to the final bell. He was hurt early in the Hatton fight, but didn't take the constant punishment in that fight that he did against the Puerto Rican back in June of 2006. And Malignaggi was able to bounce back from that loss well enough to grab a version of the world title at light-welterweight. Can he do the same again, post-Hatton?

Sure, it can take a lot out of a fighter, mentally especially, when he suffers being stopped for the first time - and this may be the case with Malignaggi. However, sometimes a loss can make a fighter more determined to come back stronger. We may get a glimpse of which column to file Malignaggi's comeback under in April. If he comes out and looks dazzlingly quick and looks full of desire, we will maybe be looking at a fully motivated return to the ring. On the other hand, if we see a former champion merely going through the motions and struggling as a result, we may get the impression that "The Magic Man" has ran out of tricks AND desire.

A lot will be revealed by the fighter Malignaggi chooses as his comeback foe. Yes, it's only an eight-rounder, but if Paulie opts to face someone other than a complete patsy and instead goes in with a tough guy, we will get some idea of how serious he is. In the final analysis, two losses - both of them coming against two men who were/are considered to be up with the very best in his division at the time - do not signal the end of a career.

There may be plenty of life in the former IBF light-welterweight champion yet. Indeed, some may be quite surprised to see him back in the ring so soon after the Hatton loss. We will find out if Malignaggi's comeback is one to follow on April 25th.

Article posted on 03.04.2009



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