Amir Khan next for Malignaggi? Or ...

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
10:47
AM ET
Paul Malignaggi left the Oct. 20 Barclays show with a win tucked under his belt, and also some psychic lumps that needed attending to. He thought it was quite obvious to the judges and the world that he beat Pablo Cano. But he was graced with a split decision, and one judge, Glenn Feldman, gave Paulie a year-old fruitcake of a gift: he saw Cano a 118-109 victor.

The Bensonhurst-bred boxer was banking on -- and banking is the right term -- Ricky Hatton winning his Saturday comeback bout against Vyacheslav Senchenko, but The Hitman couldn't scrape off 42 months of rust. He was counted out from a body shot in Round 9 and thus a Hatton rematch was up in smoke.

So Malignaggi will have to figure out a plan B. I asked his promoter, Richard Schaefer, what might be next for the Twitter King. Schaefer was at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn for the Miguel Cotto open workout.

"We're looking at maybe an April return for Malignaggi," Schaefer said. He said he will sit down with his matchmaking crew and plot out possibilities, probably putting together a firm plan after Christmas.

Hatton, right after his bout, said he would ponder what comes next but then an hour later said he was leaving the ring for good. Schaefer thinks he will stick with that.

Some ideas for Malignaggi's next include a rematch with Amir Khan, Schaefer said. Khan beat Paulie (TKO11) in NY in May 2010, at 140 pounds. These days, Malignaggi is a weight class higher, at 147. Khan meets Carlos Molina Dec. 15, at 140, so we shall see how that plays out. A unification crack at the Devon Alexander-Kell Brook scrap, which unfolds Jan. 19, might be an option, the promoter continued.

Schaefer thought Andre Berto fought valiantly in a loss to Robert Guerrero Saturday, and threw him into the pot as a possible Malignaggi foe.

What about Dmitriy Salita, a Brooklyner who has been angling to meet Paulie? "He needs to get a credible win" before being considered, Schaefer said. Yes, that fight makes sense within NYC, but everyone has to remember that fights are now on an international stage. "Fighters have to realize that have to earn title opportunities," Schaefer stated.
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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