Malignaggi aims to get job done in Italian debut clash with Fazekas
Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi returns to the ring to make his Italian debut against Hungarian also-ran Laszlo Fazekas this weekend, in front of a sell-out Teatro Principe in Milan.
The 34-year-old ‘Magic Man’ has lost three of his last four fights since 2013, stuttering ring form which has led the Italian-American into finally agreeing a homecoming bout on Saturday night, when he is 20/1 to suffer an eighth career loss.
The veteran New York-born fighter has competed at the top level for the last decade and claimed he will base his future on this upcoming performance in Milan, outlining from his Marbella base that he will then know how many years he has left.
“I’ll decide after the fight, you know. I also have to see how much time I can dedicate to training,” Malignaggi declared.
“I’ve been travelling a lot and mixing it with training for a while. If you’re fighting a higher level of opponent, you really can’t train the way I have for this fight – even though I am in shape.
“I think going forward, and if I want to fight again, I’ll have to find a better balance and fit the training in properly or I can’t fight. The training I am doing is going good and I’m just getting the weight down. I came to Marbella for the final week to focus solely on the fight.
“They tell me the show has sold well and there are people who have waited to see me fight in Italy for a long time. I may seem small to some, but it’s something I have wanted to do. It’s a personal matter for me. A personal goal and it’s going to mean something special to me.”
Malignaggi spent years living in his parent’s homeland as a youngster, before making the move to the United States, and the former WBA welterweight champion is an overwhelming odds-on 1/200 favourite to complete a successful Italian job.
Over the last two years, the long-serving fighter has been outpointed by Adrien Broner and stopped by both Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, with the latter defeat proving to be a bitter pill to swallow. But now his first fight on European soil for over three years beckons for ‘the Magic Man’.
“Europe, in general, is where may want to base myself going forward if I do decide to continue. It’s something I’d like to do – be able to fight in Italy and maybe the UK too. From a satisfaction point of view that would be pretty cool,” added Malignaggi.