Arrivederci, Paulie!


Arrivederci, Paulie!

Malignaggi to finish training camp in Sicily

Press Release: IBF junior welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi will shift his training camp from Vero Beach, Florida to Sicily in preparation for his May 24, 2008 rematch with Lovemore N’dou on the Ricky Hatton-Juan Lazcano card in Manchester, England. Malignaggi is leaving on Saturday for Sicily.

Malignaggi (24-1, 5 KOs) captured the IBF title last June by defeating champion N’dou (46-9-1, 31 KOs) by unanimous decision. Paulie successfully defended his belt this past January with a 12-round decision against Herman Ngoudjo (16-1).

Fighting an opponent he thoroughly outclassed (120-106, 120-106, 118-108) less than a year ago, flooring him in the process, has all the makings of a potential trap fight for Malignaggi, especially with a potential mega-deal on the table to fight Ricky Hatton this fall in New York City, pending wins on May 24th by both fighters.

“I’m just working on getting the job done May 24th,” Malignaggi explained. “I’m focused on doing my job on this card, not looking any deeper than I have to. I’m training in Sicily to get acclimated to the time change (like England, 6 hours difference from the East Coast of the U.S.). I have connections here and everything was set-up for me, including my sparring partners. I trained two weeks in Vero Beach with Buddy (McGirt, head trainer) and he’ll catch up with us in Sicily.

“N’dou is a pressure fighter who fights at a high pace. I just have to stay consistent and fight like I did our first fight. I’ll force him into making adjustments. He has to try and get to me, come to me, not stay on the outside. He’s been the same fighter for a long time and I don’t expect anything much different this fight.”

Malignaggi was born in Brooklyn but his Italian immigrant parents moved back to Siracuse, Sicily when Paulie was only a few months old. Six years later, the family decided to move back to the United States, but Paulie’s professional soccer playing father, Nello, stayed only a few weeks before returning to live in Siracuse.
McGirt predicts Malignaggi will be ready for N’dou once again. “N’dou brought in Boza Edwards to train him and I know they’ll be concentrating more on a body attack,” Buddy said. “They’ll judge Paulie off of his last fight (against Ngoudjo) and try to do a couple of things differently. Once things don’t go his way, hopefully, N’dou will go back to fighting the way he always does.
“Paulie won’t be looking ahead to Hatton. He never mentioned Hatton’s name in the two weeks he trained here (Vero Beach). Paulie learned a tough lesson against Ngoudjo, looking ahead to talks about fighting Hatton. There’s no Hatton fight unless he wins this fight. Paulie will be ready.”