Paul Malignaggi will defend his welterweight crown on June 22 at Barclays Center against the hottest young gun in the game, Adrien Broner, who is so sure of his talent, he's making the leap from 135, past 140, to the 147-pound class.
The Bensonhurst-bred fighter was present at Barclays on Saturday to see Golden Boy stablemate Bernard Hopkins continue his campaign to be the first man to never give in to Father Time. Their promoter, Richard Schaefer, told the media at the post-card presser that the 32-year-old Malignaggi (32-4) would put his WBA belt on the line against the 26-0 Cincinnati kid.
Malignaggi told me Monday there were still some contractual terms to finalize, and said that he expected that to happen "soon." He will train in N.Y. for a few weeks, then head to California for work at the Wild Card Gym.
In a video chat, Malignaggi told me that Broner hasn't fought anyone as talented as him. Is he the underdog, though? "Judging what most people are saying, yeah, but I've never minded that. It kinda motivates me. Anytime I've been the underdog, a lot of times it brings out the best in me," he said.