- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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After former two-division world titlist Paulie Malignaggi came off a 16-month layoff and a brutally one-sided fourth-round knockout loss to Shawn Porter in a welterweight title bout, he faced Danny Garcia in an Aug. 1 welterweight fight and took another one-sided loss, this time by ninth-round knockout.
Malignaggi was the big underdog and took a pounding from Garcia. After the fight, Malignaggi more or less announced his retirement from boxing. But Malignaggi, with a top-notch career as a boxing broadcaster going for him, left the door open for another fight, and now he has walked through it.
Barely two months after the loss to Garcia, Malignaggi (33-7, 7 KOs) is scheduled to be back in the ring for a six-rounder Sept. 26 against an opponent to be determined. The notable aspect of the fight is that Malignaggi, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, will fulfill a lifelong dream by having his fight in Milan, Italy.
Malignaggi has always wanted to fight in Italy, where his parents are from. Although Malignaggi was born in the United States, he lived for most of the first six years of his life in Italy.
“Fighting in Italy has always been my desire as I was born in New York from Italian parents, I lived the first six years of my life in Italy and I visited my ancestral country, whose language I speak perfectly, countless times,” Malignaggi said.
The fight was confirmed to ESPN.com by Christian Cherchi of promoter OPI 2000. He said the bout will take place at Teatro Principe in Milan.
Should Malignaggi be victorious it is possible he could fight again in Italy and challenge European welterweight champion Gianluca Branco (49-3-1, 24 KOs), of Italy, for the title.