Paulie Malignaggi: The Golden State Warrior
By Joseph Herron: Every champion falls. But what defines a true champion is how he reacts from defeat. Since losing decisively to Amir Khan in May of 2010, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi has been busy making his transition from 140 to 147 lbs. One could also say that he has been actively making his transition from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Article posted on 08.10.2011
After signing an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions last year, the 30 year old fighter from Brooklyn packed his bags and moved from the Empire State to become, quite literally, a “Golden State Warrior”.
Now getting ready for his third bout fighting under the Golden Boy promotional banner against former Olympian Orlando Lora, Malignaggi has been preparing in the city of the angels under the tutelage of trainer Eric Brown at the famed Wild Card Gym.
“Everything has been going well so far,” states the New York native. “Eric is a pleasure to work with. A lot of good trainers come with egos and sometimes their egos create some friction in the gym. Even if you do have a good relationship with that trainer, sometimes egos get in the way and cause a clash of heads. That’s not the case with Eric Brown.”
“Eric is a great trainer and he never lets his ego get in the way of progress and I love that about him. He is a great teacher of the fight game. In my last two fights with Eric as my trainer, you can actually see the improvement in my fight style. I’ve had a more consistent body attack since training with him and it’s caused me to be able to get off more punches.”
“If you can teach a 30 year old world class fighter new things, you should be highly touted as a trainer.”
The Brooklynite professes that the most difficult adjustments he’s had to make since moving his camp from the east coast to the west coast have been the cultural differences.
“Coming out to LA has been a culture shock,” claims Malignaggi. “People are different and you don’t see too many New Yorkers. But it’s cool here and the weather’s great. People can be friendly at times but they are absolutely the worst drivers in the world.”
Paulie cites one of the more noticeable and positive differences in his change of location to be a more plentiful amount of sparring.
“The sparring at Wild Card has been great. You have a mixture of good quality talent in there and it always makes for a positive workout. It’s actually one of the reasons why I came out to Los Angeles and it’s been very beneficial.”
“Not that there’s no sparring on the east coast, but sometimes you have to go searching for good quality sparring; and when you’re training, it can be stressful at times,” states the former two division champion. “Out here, I know I’m going to get the kind of work that I need and I know it’s going to be consistent; it’s one less headache to worry about.”
“For this camp, I’ve sparred with Ray Beltran and Jose Benevides. I’ve also sparred with several other fighters who most have never heard of, but they’re all hard working, quality guys who can fight their asses off.”
After his disappointing showing against current Junior Welterweight title holder Amir Khan, the “Magic Man” decided to move up in weight for a various number of reasons, and so far it seems to be a very positive decision for the WBC #3 ranked Welterweight.
“At 140 lbs, I felt like I just didn’t have the kind of spring in my legs like I needed at times. I fight in a style that burns a lot of energy and I need that kind of bounce in my legs when throwing all kinds of combinations. My style depends on speed, and making the 140 pound weight limit was taking out all of the spring in my legs that I depend on.”
“If a big opportunity presented itself at Junior Welterweight, I would go back down. But, at the moment, I feel really good at 147lbs. I feel like I have the energy to be most effective in the ring at Welterweight.”
“I’ve always been the type of fighter who relies on boxing ability, and you take that with you no matter what weight you fight at; so I feel really comfortable at Welterweight right now.”
As the former two division champion makes his final preparations for his October 15th opponent, Paulie responds to Orlando Lora’s fight prediction of walking through the “Magic Man’s” shots and possibly stopping him:
“We’ll see what Lora brings to the table next Saturday. I’ve always been a big talker myself, but I never get into trash talking matches with non-world class opponents. No disrespect to Lora, but I think it’s pointless to trash talk with Lora because I’m supposed to beat him.”
“I’ll just show up to the Staples Center next Saturday and beat him up for a few rounds but I’m not going to sit here trashing him. Lora hasn’t accomplished enough in his career for me to start trash talking back and forth with him.”
“I don’t want to say he’s not cool enough, but he’s just not cool enough to be trash talking with me.”
“In all seriousness, he’s fought bigger men than me so getting him out of there may not be as easy as I would like it to be, but I can see myself beating Lora up once I get his timing down. Especially if my hands stay healthy, I’ll beat him up all night long. Then he’ll have to make a decision as to whether or not he wants to continue taking a beating or quit like he did in his fight against David Estrada in his only loss…so I do see that he has some ‘quit’ in him.”
“I’ll just plan on dominating him and making a statement, because I’m supposed to dominate a guy like Orlando Lora. It’s nothing against him, but I’m a better level than this and I’m ready for world class opposition again. I dominate when I’m not in the ring with world class level opponents.”
“So look for me to dominate Orlando Lora on October 15th.”
Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi will be facing Mexican contender and former Olympian Orlando Lora in a 10-round showdown to open the HBO Pay-Per-View® telecast “Believe It Or Not!: Hopkins vs. Dawson” taking place on Saturday, Oct. 15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. PST.
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