Malignaggi wants Hatton next!

By G. Leon


Malignaggi wants Hatton next!

GL: Can you give us some thoughts on your title winning effort over Lovemore N'dou? "I thought it was a very good performance. I trained hard and I made the proper adjustments during the fight. He's a guy who comes forward and puts a lot of pressure. I expected that and I was ready for that kind of a fight so I'm glad I just put everything together."

GL: Did you expect it to be so one sided?

Paul Malignaggi: "I expected N'dou to get outboxed, but I expected him to give me trouble at times and take a few rounds off me. I trained to win every round and a lot of times the way you prepare for a fight is the way it turns out. I trained to win every round and that's what we did."

GL: There are several fighters in boxing with loads of talent and they're not making the most of it. Here you are with a limited amatuer background, but you have the desire to make the most of yourself. What do you accredit most to becoming world champion, you're skill or your will? And do you think boxing would be a better place if all boxers looked to utilize their abilities as you have?

PM: "Of course. It's tough for me to see guys who are so talented not make the most of it. I think sometimes they do that because they want to have an excuse for failing. Sometimes it seems that guys don't put in the work because of the talent. Then they want to say they didn't do it because they were off and they were partying or whatever, but that's just wrong. If you got the talent you've got to put it to work because it will pay off. I know I've made the most of mine. I came from a background where I wanted to get out of the way I was living. I felt like boxing would do that for me. Luckily God blessed me with some talent, so I just had to put in the work. Now the work has paid off. Sometimes you see guys that aren't so talented, but they work so hard and they're never going to be anything no matter how hard they work because they don't have that talent, so it's a real shame when you see guys who have talent not living up to it."

GL: Even after this title winning effort there's still a few people who have some negative things to say about you. What do you have to do to silence the critics?

PM: "The critics I haven't satisfied to this point, I haven't silenced them because they have a personal grudge against me. By now I should have silenced all of the real critics, the ones who had legitimate reasons to say I wasn't good or whatever, but I've proven myself as a top notch fighter. If you still can't believe that then you're never going to be a fan of mine. Am I satisfied with what I've done? No I'm not. I've got a lot more work to do I've got a lot more titles to win and I've got a lot more big names to fight, but I think I've silenced most of the critics who count. I think in this era guys like Willie Pep and Pernell Whitaker would have been hated on for their mastery. In other countries they box half assed opponents and those fans are happy to see their best fighters, but over here we're spoiled because all of the best talent comes here and people are going to look to criticize you no matter what you do, but it's like Floyd Mayweather says, the skills pay the bills and he's right."

GL: You threw quite a bit of right hands against Lovemore N'dou. Would you say the right hand is finally 100%?

PM: "The right is getting better. It's been better for the last three fights, the Camarena fight, the Cotto fight and the Cherry fight. But I was still making a lot of technical mistakes because I was still fighting like I was one handed. I don't know how to explain this, but I got into some bad habits when I was fighting as a one handed fighter. Even when I got my right hand back I didn't correct those mistakes. We made a conscious effort more for this camp, because we realized in the Cherry fight, there's a lot of things I'm doing like I'm still one handed. What am I doing? I'm still fighting like I'm one handed. It's not broken anymore and some of the ways I was standing was preventing me from using the right to counter because I was being so defensive. They were bad habits and we made a conscious effort to correct that and you saw the difference. I was able to throw six and seven punch combos with both hands and sit down on the right hand. When I dropped him in the ninth round it wasn't the left hook, it was the right hand behind it that rocked him."

GL: You just said we made a lot of changes, how instrumental was Buddy McGirt to making those adjustments? Also, were you surprised when you dropped him?

PM: "Buddy has been very instrumental. He's not just a get trainer he's a great corner guy and he keeps you focused during the fight better than anyone in boxing. He's been in there as a fighter so he knows what to say out there to keep you focused. I also want to give credit to Orland Carasquillo, he's my assistant. I brought him back for this fight and him and Buddy worked excellent together. I got a team that's unbeatable. Guys like this are going to make my time with the title a lot of fun. Was I surprised I dropped him? Yeah, because N'dou doesn't go down for nobody. When he went down I was like, 'whoa, he's down.' I didn't know if they were going to call it a slip because he sort of stumbled when he went down. It was ruled a knockdown and I was glad I dropped him. Maybe I shouldn't have thrown the hook because people might think I did it to push him off, but the right hand sent him down. "

GL: How long will the cut keep you out of action for and how big are the Ricky Hatton pom-poms you'll be waving this weekend?

PM: "I'm a big Ricky Hatton fan this week. I might go there just to get drunk with the British guys and sing Blue Moon. I'm a big Ricky Hatton fans. (laughs) I really want Ricky Hatton to win. It's the biggest fight that can be made in the division now. I've made my stand and I proved that I'm the top guy at 140 for him to face. Ricky Hatton left the welterweight division to come back and fight Urango for the IBF title, then he chose to vacate rather than fight N'dou. I guess he didn't feel N'dou was big enough, but if he wants a third crack at IBF title in a fight that HBO would like and the fans want to see, I'll be here waiting.

"With the cut, I'm hoping it heals well, but I don't know how long it's going to take yet. Last year I suffered my first cut in the fight with Cotto from a headbutt and the same cut reopened from an elbow and headbutt from N'dou. It's something to be careful of and look out for, but I'm hoping it heals quickly because I want to fight one more time before the end of the year."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

PM: "I want to thank Boxingtalk and all of my fans for supporting me from day one. You guys could expect more of what you saw last weekend and I'm ready to fight the best, we'll see if they want to fight me."


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