Thursday, February 7, 2013
Malignaggi-Chaves in Abu Dhabi is close
By Michael Woods
The crew that runs Showtime Sports Events must be pretty certain that Paul Malignaggi will headline an April event in Abu Dhabi. Their website, ShowtimeSportsEvents.com, splashes a photo of Malignaggi, mashed up with his proposed foe for the event, Diego Chaves, on their home page.
First off, you should know that Showtime Sports Events isn't the cable TV giant which broadcast Malignaggi's last fight, against Pablo Cano, in October.
No, this "Showtime" is a creation of Johnny Eames and Gianluca Di Caro, who, along with partner Gary Barber, run the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in England. Eames and Di Caro put out a release a couple days ago which touted the forthcoming Malignaggi-Chaves clash, sometime in April, and their ties to Abu Dhabi residents Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi and Khaled Abdulla Al Mansoori.
The release said their new promotional entity was "about to ink a deal" with Malignaggi to defend his WBA welterweight crown, and Eames is quoted as saying they will be working with "a vast amount of funds allocated to us to pull in the biggest fighters, not just for the Abu Dhabi and the Middle East project."
To that end, Eames said inquiries were made to land a Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight, but that didn't come to fruition. They originally sought a Ricky Hatton-Malignaggi scrap, but that went off the rails when Hatton was stopped in a comeback bid. Eames in the release said that that Malignaggi and his promoter Golden Boy, are "days away from signing contracts."
NYFightblog reached Malignaggi, who said that Chaves' promoter has been contacted and terms on that end are being discussed. "If this deal works out and the deal comes through, then yes, that would be my next fight," he said. A clash in the U.S. against Andre Berto stands as his Plan B, currently, Malignaggi said.
Chaves is a 22-0 Argentine who holds the WBA interim world welterweight title. Most logically, you ask why there is an "interim" WBA champ if the current WBA champ hasn't been inactive. This I have no answer for, and I fear trying to get to the bottom of that would lead us all down a rabbit whole, and to a state of madness.