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WBA orders a Malignaggi-Chaves fight

11/1/2012

World Boxing Association welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi learned a short time ago that the WBA has decided he must fight their "interim" champion, Diego Chaves.

To be totally honest, I am not overly familiar with Chaves.

Alright, alright, I have not a clue who he is.

So I reached out to Malignaggi, who is enjoying his downtime after getting a decision win over Pablo Cano at the Barclays Center on Oct. 20.

Paulie, who is this Chaves?

"I have no clue," he said, chuckling.

So, what will you do? Fight another young gun, this time in the form of an Argentine, with a 22-0 (18 KOs) record?

"I guess I will see," he continued. "Right now I am getting ready to head to Texas on Friday for Saturday's Fox Sports Net fights with Fernando Guerrero vs. JC Candelo as the main event, to work the broadcast. I don't want to start thinking about my next fight for about another month. I know my promoter Golden Boy will make the best move for me, they've done that continuously since I signed with them."

About that "interim" tag on the 26-year-old Argentine; Chaves snagged that belt from titlist Ismael El Massoudi (KO2) in July. He defended it just two months later, against 12-11 Jose Miranda, in Argentina. One might wonder why the WBA has an "interim" titleholder when in fact there is a legit, straight-up belt-holder out and about. Shouldn't an "interim" situation only be in play if a champion is, say, out of action for a significant length of time? I reached out to the WBA to get a sense of why they bother to have an "interim" champion. Stay tuned...

Malignaggi was keeping both eyes on the Nov. 24 Ricky Hatton comeback fight, in which the Hitman, back from a retirement hiatus, will meet Vyacheslav Senchenko in England. If Hatton won, a rematch with Malignaggi, who he defeated in 2008, would have made much sense. It would still make sense, but a mandatory defense against a young bomber could mess with the timing, bigtime. My guess? An arrangement to keep Chaves serene while he waits his turn might be in the works.