TEWKSBURY, Mass. (March 24, 2006) – Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (21-0, 5 KOs), an avid New York Yankees fan, has returned to the heart of Boston Red Sox country to train once again with famed strength-and-conditioning coach, Mike Boyle, in preparation for Malignaggi’s breakthrough June 10th mega-fight against World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (26-0, 22 KOs) at Madison Square Garden.
Malignaggi’s manager, Sal LoNano, first brought Paulie to Massachusetts a year ago to follow the path of his former fighter, “Irish” Micky Ward, who trained under Boyle for his trilogy against Arturo Gatti. Malignaggi has won two straight fights since then against a pair of 16-1 fighters when they entered the ring against him, Jeremy Yelton (DEC8) and Donald Camarena (DEC10) for the WBC Continental Americas light welterweight championship. The latter set-up the aforementioned June 10 showdown for the now WBO No. 10 rated Malignaggi against Cotto.
“I’m going to cash in on this opportunity; my legacy begins by beating Cotto for the WBO title,” the outspoken Malignaggi said. “I just don’t want to be the next great Italian fighter, I want to be the next great fighter in the world. I’ve been under a microscope and ‘dissed’ by people, but I’m going to prove my detractors wrong.
“Cotto’s coming to my house. He’s going to find himself unwelcome with nothing there for him except knuckle sandwiches from me. I’m a fresh 21-0 without being in any wars. Cotto’s a worn-out 26-0 with a lot of mileage on him. I’m going to make him 26-1. (Ricardo) Torres put him down and (Chop Chop) Corley had him going. Cotto needed some hometown help from the ref to beat Corley.”
Brooklyn-native Malignaggi, who’ll return next month to Gleason’s Gym (NYC) for a solid month of training and sparring, right now is close to his hand doctor, Dr. Stephen Margles, the Burlijngton, Mass.-surgeon who also repaired Ward’s fist, as well as Vinny Paz’, Harry Simon’s and others boxers. Paulie’s thrice operated-on right hand, according to him, feels 100% for the first time since his third pro fight.
“Miguel Cotto is a one dimensional fighter and anybody who thinks he can box lives in dreamland,” Paulie continued. “I’m going to expose his slow feet and hands. No surprises with him, he’s going to keep coming forward, but he’s had problems making weight and staying strong as rounds go by. I’m going to take him into deep waters. Cotto’s going to have to answer some questions about his poise. How is he going to react when I’m two inches away from him and then the next second I’m gone? This is a big fight and coming from Brooklyn, fighting at Madison Square Garden is very special for me. My legacy starts June 10 when I have the WBO belt around my waist. I’m only 25 and this is just the beginning for me.”