Malignaggi not keen to share spotlight

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
10:16
PM ET
Paul Malignaggi, the Bensonhurst-bred former junior welter and welterweight champion who doubles as a Showtime analyst, is between fights. He seems to be enjoying the downtime; the boxer relished bites of a cupcake at Gleason's in Brooklyn on Thursday, during a workout session to hype the Monday Golden Boy card at Barclays.

The frosted treat had been purchased by publicist Kelly Swanson for the Monday headliner, Sadam Ali, a birthday boy on Thursday, as he makes his Golden Boy debut against Jay Krupp.

As Malignaggi licked the last bit of frosting from his fingers, he got NYFightblog up to speed with his current status as a boxer. We'd heard that a fight with Zab Judah was imminent and asked him where that all-Brooklyn mash-up stood.

"You get one shot to make me and Zab," he said, explaining that he sees that scrap as a main event in Barclays, not as a support bout with other principals topping a Dec. 7 Barclays card. "It's not a co-main event with Zab."

Common sense says the budget for the main support bout isn't in the same ballpark as a main event, and, he implied, he's not keen at this stage of his career to accept lesser-light status and the paycheck haircut that would result.

Malignaggi said that a match with Shawn Porter, an ascending welter, had been brought up to him, but he didn't seem enthused. He also had gotten wind of a theoretical scrap against interim WBA welter champ Keith Thurman, but Thurman is locked in with a date against Mexican rumbler Jesus Soto Karass on Dec. 14 in Vegas. An Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana tussle tops that Vegas promotion, and Malignaggi would be pumped to face the winner. He acquitted himself more than adequately against Broner, losing a split decision to the cocky Cinci stylist on June 22 in Brooklyn. But he's pretty pragmatic, and knows he'll likely not be handed that honor. "I've got to come back with something," he said. "I do feel I shouldn't have to tap-dance for a shot but I think I will have to stay busy."
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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