Malignaggi ignores Cunningham's bait

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
2:48
PM ET
Paul Malignaggi now recalls what it's like to be Mr. Popularity. Since he lifted the WBA welterweight title from Vyacheslav Senchenko on April 29, the Twitter King (#TK) has been targeted by this boxer and that. And he's loving the attention. Devon Alexander, through his talkative trainer Kevin Cunningham, has perhaps been the most vocal in trying to lure the 31-4 Malignaggi, who last held a world title in 2008, to the table.

"Paulie needs to stop lying to the fans, and if he doesn't want to fight Devon, just man up and say, 'I don't want to fight Devon.' Man up and don't make all these accusations. Cut all the b-----t," Cunningham said in a piece which ran on the website Fighthype. The trainer said Malignaggi announced that Alexander, the junior welter champion who now campaigns at 147, ducked a fight with him. Cunningham said that is not so, that the 23-1 fighter out of St. Louis took a fight against Marcos Maidana in February because HBO and Showtime wouldn't buy a Malignaggi fight.

So, I reached out to Paulie, fully confident that he'd return fire. He lives for returning fire.

Guess what?

He took a pass.

"It's too soon to get into it with possible opponents," said the 31 year-old boxer, who will take some time to soak in his win with a vacay in Europe this summer. "Literally, the line of guys that want to fight is so long that it's overwhelming to think about it." He said he will soon enough sift through offers, and determine what makes the most sense. He said that he doesn't expect to get a soft touch defense and that "when the time comes people will get a fight worth watching in October."
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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