Paul Malignaggi said he was surprised to be offered a fight against Danny Garcia, but isn't looking too deep into the mouth of the gift horse, and that he likes his chances Aug. 1 against the Philly fighter moving to 147.
The Brooklyn-born Malignaggi, age 34, was set to fight in May but was cut a week before his fight versus Danny O'Coonor. Shortly after that, it was determined he'd be a good test for Garcia in his first fight at 147, and he eagerly accepted the tangle.
On a Tuesday conference call to hype the event at the Barclays Center, a Premier Boxing Champions (Al Haymon) attraction promoted by Lou DiBella, portions of which will run on ESPN, Garcia said he maybe should have gone to 147 a year and a half ago.
He's now feeling strong in the gym, is able to concentrate on technique, rather than losing weight, during camp. “I feel like at 147 you will see a more athletic Danny Garcia,” he said. The 27-year-old hitter said his vision will be clearer, that he will be able to move his feet, and he knows he will gain a title at 147.
The call was sedate, two pros on message, and dad Angel Garcia was nowhere to be found as promoter DiBella presided. I joked that some prime sparring opportunity was lost.
Malignaggi, respectful and measured, told me no, he isn't SURE what he has left in the tank, but has been in the gym training more this past year than in any year in the last decade. He knows in the back of his mind he got the gig because people think he's faded, but he doesn't think so, and relishes another time on this mega-stage.
No, he doesn't think about the head trauma absorbed in his last outing, in April 2014, against Shawn Porter. Fighters have to have short memories, after both losses and wins, he noted. His experience will be helpful, as he's been written off, embraced, and written off time and again. Being loved or hated doesn't affect him him, but yes, this is basically a must win for him, not so much for Danny.
The main support bout, a 160 title defense pitting champ Danny Jacobs versus Sergio Mora, got love as well. Mora said he knows Jacobs, a more athletic boxer, has some edges, but his seasoning will be most helpful. He has won five straight but DJ has won nine. Also, Brooklyn is Jacobs' home turf and the Cali-boxer knows he has to win emphatically.
Jacobs said he respects the Mora seasoning and on paper, thinks this could be his stiffest test. He does want the mega bouts, like a Golovkin fight, but says he's still learning on the job. To be the first to stop Mora would feather his cap, he said.
As for the mainer, Paulie said he was surprised to get the call, and most grateful. I see a lot of Twitter talk that Danny rubs him out…but then again, less of that as Garcia has looked ho-hum his last couple outings. Again, he hammered the point that he will feel and look better at 147, so I do wonder, readers, what you think of that storyline element? Garcia said he hasn't in a spell felt the power moving from his glove up his arm after connecting and is again feeling that at this weight.
I admitted that I missed Angel on the call, for the uncertainty factor, and expressed interest in his being his wild self at a pre-fight presser.That ended the call…
Readers, how do you see Jacobs-Mora and then Garcia-Malignaggi playing out…Talk to me.
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