Paul Malignaggi: "I wouldn't be surprised if I knocked Ricky Hatton out"

By G. Leon


Paul Malignaggi: "I wouldn't be surprised if I knocked Ricky Hatton out"

GL: We haven't spoken since your repeat victory over Lovemore N'dou, can you give us some thoughts on your performance? "It's one of those fights that you're glad you got through it. Considering the circumstances, between my hair and my hand breaking, I think the fight was a lot tougher this time around. But I showed my true character, I showed I'm willing to battle through anything and I came away with the W."

GL: What made you decide to put the extensions in your hair?

Paul Malignaggi: "You know me, I'm the guy who tries to be a little bit more outgoing than the next fighter and I think I tried too hard this time. A lot of times you can get distracted as I learned, but at the end of the day you have to impress with your boxing skills and that's what I learned on May 24, if you try too hard with outside the ring antics it might cost you inside the ring. It's a lesson I learned and next time believe me I'll be better prepared."

GL: What was going through your head before the last scorecard was read?

PM: "I never felt the fight was in jeopardy and I was a little bit shocked when they announced the first scorecard for N'dou. I didn't fight to the best of my ability, my hand was broken and my hair was cut and I was a bit flustered by the situation. I was surprised after the first scorcard, but I was confident the other two judges would get it right and they did."

GL:  At what point of the fight would you say you broke your hand?

PM: "With :47 seconds left in round six. I threw a straight right hand to the stomach and I hit an elbow. If you look at the tape you can see it cleanly."

GL: When will you be able to use the hand again?

PM: "I have a broken middle metacarpal, basically the bone behind the right knuckle is broken. I have a cast on at the moment, and I have to go through the healing process but November is plenty of time away and I'll be ready for the fight with Hatton."

GL: Are you concerned that this injury might effect your performance against Hatton or even worse, recoccur?

PM: "I've had so many hand injuries G, that if something like that happens I'll be able to figure something else out. But I'm confident that I have plenty of time for it to heal the right way, if you start hurting your hand in a fight you have to deal with it and if anybody knows about broken hands in a fight it's me."

GL:  What did you think about Ricky Hatton's performance against Lazcano?

PM: "I thought he looked very average. Coming off of a knockout loss sometimes you give a guy a pass in that way. I think he could have looked a lot better, but coming off the knockout loss, we'll let it slide and we won't talk about him so bad. I will say one thing, he cannot take a punch. To the head to the body, I've been saying this for years he cannot take a punch and that's why he fights the way he does. He's always looking to hold because he's trying to prevent his opponents frome extending their punches so they can get maximum power on them."

GL: Can you beat Ricky Hatton with one hand?

PM: "I believe I can, but I won't need to beat him with one hand because I'll be beating him with two hands."

GL: Based on strongly you feel about Hatton not being able to take a punch, even though you're not a puncher, do you see yourself winning this fight inside the distance?

PM: "I know everybody else would be surprised, but I wouldn't be. I wouldn't be surprised if I knocked Ricky Hatton out. It's something that people are going to read and think I'm ridiculous, but if you beyond what you see with naked eye, every time he gets hit clean he's hurt."

GL: What will your hair look like in November?

PM: "I haven't decided yet, I shaved my head and it's starting to grow back a bit, but it's still kind of a buzz cut. I do want to say that Manny Pacquiao has been making a lot of comments about wanting to fight Ricky Hatton in the last couple of weeks. If Manny Pacquiao wants to get that ass whooping, once I'm done with Ricky, I will glady tear that ass up all over the place. Tell Manny to stop disrespecting the Magic Man, stop saying you want to fight Ricky because Ricky is not getting by the Magic Man. If he wants to fight a junior welterweight, once I beat Ricky's ass I will gladly tear his ass up all over the place. The guy used to be a flyweight and I will gladly tear his ass up."

GL: Closing thoughts?

PM: "This is my year. I've been saying it all year, I know people might say I haven't looked so good yet, but believe me the best is yet to come. I'm going to beat Ricky and by the end of the year, I will be the number one junior welterweight in the world by the end of the year. Once I tear Ricky up the way I know I will everybody else will know that."


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