Boxing: Abu Dhabi

Broner-Malignaggi a possibility

March, 1, 2013
Promoter Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy has given Paul Malignaggi until the end of this weekend to come together on a May 18 fight against either Diego Chaves or Humberto Soto in Abu Dhabi.

If it doesn't, Malignaggi (32-4; age 32) told NYFightblog, then Plan B will go into effect. That would be a fight at Barclays Center on June 22. And would Andre Berto be the probable foe in that case, as we'd heard previously? "Adrien Broner has been brought up for that date," the WBA welter champ told me. "I think it's an interesting backup plan to Abu Dhabi."

I'll say.

The trashtalk pre-fight hijinks for a Malignaggi-Broner fight would likely be more violent than the bout itself. The WBC lightweight champ Broner currently campaigns at 135 pounds, and was at 130 as recently as last February, but most experts seem to think his frame and skill set could accomadate a move up two classes.

Malignaggi could fight May 18

February, 12, 2013
WBA welter champ Paul Malignaggi has received a bout agreement, to fight WBA No. 1 contender Diego Chaves in Abu Dhabi, with a tentative date of May 18, the fighter told ESPN NY.

The promoters, a group of Brits and businessmen in Abu Dhabi, are firming things up with the Chaves side, the 32-year-old Brooklyn-bred boxer said.

"It's moving slowly," he stated, so he is still considering a fight with Andre Berto.

Malignaggi-Chaves in Abu Dhabi is close

February, 7, 2013
The crew that runs Showtime Sports Events must be pretty certain that Paul Malignaggi will headline an April event in Abu Dhabi. Their website,, 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.