Thursday, January 24, 2013
Paulie Malignaggi camp eyes options
By Dan Rafael
Unhappy over financial terms for the fight, welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi has declined to finalize a deal to defend his belt against former champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer said Thursday.
The fight was slated to take place April 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- Malignaggi's hometown -- and headline a Showtime card.
"Mosley was on board, and I was under the impression that Paulie was on board as well, but for whatever reason, that was not the case," Schaefer told ESPN.com.
"The fight is dead in the water. At the end of the day, the financial package was not attractive enough for Paulie to take the fight, and that is his right."
Mosley, who won world titles in three weight classes and twice won welterweight titles, retired in June, a month after a lopsided decision loss to junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. However, he planned to come out of retirement to challenge Malignaggi.
Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KOs) agreed to terms two weeks ago while Schaefer and Malignaggi's camp were finalizing their ends of the deal.
Schaefer said he told Mosley about Malignaggi's decision.
"I talked to Shane and he said OK and that he didn't blame anybody," Schaefer said. "I know this fight meant a lot to him, that he wanted a chance to win the title again, and I think if the right opportunity comes along, I would still make a fight for Shane Mosley if he wants it, so that's one of the things I am working on."
Many had been critical of Malignaggi-Mosley because Mosley, 41, is 0-3-1 with poor performances in his past four bouts. He hasn't won since scoring an upset ninth-round knockout of Antonio Margarito in January 2009 to win a welterweight title for the second time.
However, Schaefer said he thought the fight still would attract a crowd in New York and that it would be competitive.
"I felt a fight between Paulie and Shane would be a good fight and sell tickets. I felt it was an intriguing matchup," Schaefer said. "You ask people who will win, and they scratch their head and say Mosley might actually win the fight. I felt I could sell this fight at the Barclays Center. Life goes on."
Malignaggi still might fight there on April 27 against another opponent, Schaefer said. One possibility would be against former junior welterweight titlist Marco Maidana, who now fights at welterweight. Another fight Schaefer said he would explore would be Malignaggi against former titlist Andre Berto, who lost a decision to Robert Guerrero in November in a fight of the year candidate.
But Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs), 29, and Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), 32, exchanged tweets on Thursday saying they want to face each other.
"Malignaggi is one of the few fighters out there who really have b----, not like the others. I want his title," Maidana tweeted.
Responded Malignaggi: "(Maidana) is a worthy challenger. He deserves a shot. Let's get it done."
Sebastian Contursi, Maidana's manager, said he has been in touch with Golden Boy to try to work out the fight.
"We were (surprised) to read Malignaggi's statement that he wants Maidana and not Mosley, so I immediately called Maidana on the phone to let him know and he instructed me to ask (Golden Boy) for that fight yet again since Maidana has no fights scheduled as of yet," he said.
Contursi said he spoke with Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez and told him "that Maidana is absolutely willing to accept the Malignaggi challenge on April 27 or any other date or venue that they might have, obviously subject to financial terms. But be sure that Maidana won't price himself out of that fight whatsoever since his goal is becoming a world champion again. Eric Gomez told me they were going to have conversations with Malignaggi's people in order to see if they can make an arrangement. Hopefully we can get this done."
Schaefer, however, said he was unsure if that fight could carry a show at the Barclays Center. He also said he preferred to make a fight between Maidana and fellow slugger and Argentine countryman Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs), should Matthysse successfully defend his interim junior welterweight belt Saturday night against Michael Dallas Jr.
Matthysse-Maidana has been a much-discussed fight among fans for the past couple of years.
"If I'm going to do Malignaggi-Maidana, I wouldn't want to take the risk at the Barclays Center," Schaefer said. "I'm probably going to do a fight for Paulie (April 27), but I don't see many other headline fights for him at Barclays. Do I think Malignaggi-Maidana is a good fight? I do, but I am not sure that's the main event at the Barclays Center, a big, big arena. I don't want to put that fight in a huge venue.
"Right now, I have been thrown a bit of a curveball with this (Malignaggi-Mosley) fight situation, but we will move on. We will have an event on April 27 on Showtime and we are coming up with the right card, but it won't necessarily be at Barclays Center. My first choice is Lucas Matthysse against Marcos Maidana, assuming Matthysse wins on Saturday, from the West Coast."
Schaefer said there are several possibilities, but it will come down to money.
"A fight between Andre Berto and Paulie Malignaggi would be of interest to the networks and fans," he said. "A fight between Maidana and Matthysse is of interest. A fight between Malignaggi and Maidana is of interest. Now there are different amounts of license fees being paid for these fights, so I will go to Malignaggi, to Maidana, to Berto, to Matthysse, and I will tell them what the different purses they can make and we'll go from there."