TSS told you first that the best laid plans of men went awry, with word that the May 29 clash between Paul Malignaggi and Danny O'Connor was off the rails.
The Brooklyner laid low, and didn't immediately get back to us when we asked for a comment, but a release was sent to media few hours after we Tweeted the more-than-a-rumor: indeed, Malignaggi was cut, and had to pull out of his fight with the Bostonian.
Some beef went along with the developement, as some members of Team Pacquiao reacted with something less than sympathy at the news of the scuttled scrap; the Showtime analyst hasn't been shy on Twitter in casting scorn at Manny's referencing his torn rotator cuff to help explain his lack of success on May 2.
Check out the release which confirms our story, and fills in the blanks on the replacement tussle which will run on Spike. That substitute fight is a Bryan Vasquez-Javier Fortuna title clash. We reached out to get a comment from Team Vasquez:
“The change took me by surprise, I’ve been ready for this fight for awhile now, but I take things as they come and believe that things happen for a reason,” Vasquez told TSS. “I’m excited, being the co-main event for a show is great, fighting at the Barclays Center is going to be amazing. I’ve been saying since the beginning that fans should expect a war, and I truly believe my fight will steal the show on May 29th, so I really hope all the Costa Ricans that live close by come and support me, they won’t be disappointed.”
Said Rigoberto Garibaldi, Bryan’s trainer:
“We will fight wherever and whenever we have to fight, we are ready. God guides our path and we’ve been working hard throughout our training camp, so this change I believe is for good, it will be a great fight that needs to be seen by many eyes.”
And the release:
BROOKLYN (May 15, 2015) – An exciting junior lightweight battle between Javier Fortuna and Bryan Vasquez will now open the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike telecast on Friday, May 29 live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Fortuna vs. Vasquez, which was originally scheduled to take place May 23, replaces the bout between Paulie Malignaggi and Danny O'Connor as Malignaggi suffered a severe cut above his eye in training camp. The 12-round brawl will lead into the highly anticipated contest between former world champions Amir Khan and Chris Algieri.
An amateur standout who participated in the first Pan American Junior Championships in 2003, the 25-year-old Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KOs) owns victories over Abner Cotto, Miguel Zamudio and Patrick Hyland. The undefeated rising star out of La Romana, Dominican Republic holds four knockouts over his last six fights as he looks to put on another great show on May 29.
The 27-year-old Vasquez (35-1, 18 KOs) is quickly becoming known as the preeminent pugilist from Costa Rica. He is the winner of his last five fights, including a stoppage of Sergio Thompson in Dec. 2014. Vasquez does not shy from any competition and will not back down when he faces his toughest test to date in Javier Fortuna on Spike TV.
O'Connor will now fight in his hometown of Boston on Saturday, May 23 on the undercard of the PBC on NBC event from Boston University's Agganis Arena.
Word on the street, unconfirmed at this time, is that the May 29 clash between comebacking Brooklyner Paul Malignaggi and Mass. hitter Danny O'Connor is in flux. It looks like the welterweight tangle, a non-title faceoff, might be scrapped, a source told TSS.
I reached out to some folks who would know more, including Paulie, and haven't heard back as yet. A Massachusetts mole told me that Danny O is not injured, so that wouldn't be a reason for a cancellation, or a shift, or what have you.
I hear there is some scrambling going on to fill the supposed hole on the May 29 Barclays show; with so many PBC dates out there, plugging in a fight on short notice likely wouldn't prove too hard.
There is a May 23 PBC show, and I could see a fight being taken from there and placed on to the higher-profile Brooklyn show, if the powers that be wanted it done…