Malignaggi-Salita likely won't be main event

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
12:40
PM ET
Paulie Malignaggi's next gig is still up the the air.

He thought it might be a "best in Brooklyn" showdown affair pitting him against Dmitriy Salita, but Malignaggi told NYFightBlog that promoter Golden Boy informed him that bout couldn't be the main event at the Barclays Center boxing opening on Oct. 20.

Presumably, that's because Salita needs to get a win over a credible contender type before he'd be warmly embraced by TV buyers, skeptical fightwriters and perhaps fans. So Malignaggi is still playing a waiting game, which should be sorted out in the next couple weeks, because he wants to start training pretty soon.

Malignaggi shocked some of the world when he easily handled WBA welter champ Vyacheslav Senchenko in the Ukraine on April 29, and took the strap home with him. He's been chilling, enjoying the fruits of his labors, traveling, watching soccer and minimizing his vicious Twitter addiction, a trait we share.

The rumor mill ground out the name of retired pug Ricky Hatton a few weeks back. He's been out of the game since May 2009, and I asked Malignaggi if he'd figured out whether Hatton is sticking to promoting, or wants to try another run. A Golden Boy rep was in England this weekend, for the David Haye-Dereck Chisora bout--GB has a piece of Haye--but Paulie still doesn't know what Hatton has in mind. "I haven't got a clue but if it's true he wants to come back, I doubt it would be as soon as October."

Given that Hatton's eating habits, when not training, mirror a fight writers', we can surmise he might need an extra couple weeks to get in fighting trim. He does, after all, refer to himself self-mockingly as "Ricky Fat-ton."
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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