Why I gave up my IBF title

By Paul Malignaggi


Why I gave up my IBF title

Press Release: Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs) took some time off from his Las Vegas training camp to offer his views on subject ranging from his November 22nd showdown against Ricky Hatton to abdicating his IBF title and a lot in between.

His IBF Title

I’m very disappointed to give up my [IBF junior welterweight] title. I did my best to win it and was very proud to wear it. I’ve never heard of the same boxer [Herman Ngoudjo] being named the mandatory twice within the same year. I worked hard to get that title, but I was committed to fighting Ricky Hatton. Me and Ricky are the top two 140-pounders and we’re fighting to see who is # 1. We could have asked for an exception requiring the winner to fight Ngoudjo next, but neither of us would agree, so we let the IBF title go and allowed two guys we’ve already beaten fight for it while we take care of our business. We did Ngoudjo and Juan Urango [who has already lost to Hatton] a favor by not asking for the exception and making them wait another six months to fight. I wish them the best of luck. This is the biggest fight of my career, IBF title or no title. I’m going to show the world that Paulie Malignaggi is the #1 light welterweight in the world.

Hatton’s New Trainer

“Floyd Mayweather, Sr. is putting himself in a tough situation and putting a lot of pressure on Hatton. You can’t teach dogs new tricks. He can teach him a few things in two months, but Hatton doesn’t have the talent – natural speed and defensive ability. Mayweather’s been opening his mouth and when I beat Hatton, everybody is going to say he shouldn’t have gotten rid of his trainer (Billy Graham) and blame Mayweather. When they lose it’s going to cost Mayweather a lot of jobs.”

Training Camp

“I trained in the Poconos for a while. In between the press conferences (Las Vegas and London) I worked at Gleason’s (in Brooklyn). We moved camp last week to Las Vegas for a lot of reasons. I wanted to get used to West Coast time and there are plenty of good fighters in Vegas for sparring. I spar against different styles of fighters to stay sharp. I started sparring in the Poconos and everything has been good.”

His Right Hand

“It’s fine. I’ve been hitting hard. Everybody’s going to find out how good my hand is, especially Ricky Hatton.”

Ricky Hatton

“I’m confident in myself with the experience I’ve gained. I don’t worry about Hatton, his personal life or his change in trainers. I concentrate on being the best Paulie Malignaggi as possible.”

The Fight

“I’m focused on Ricky Hatton, not (Oscar) De La Hoya or (Manny) Pacquiao (Hatton has talked about fighting the De La Hoya-Pacquiao winner after Malignaggi). It’s going to be a very frustrating night for Ricky Hatton. He’ll be catching a lot. I’ll prove that Paulie Malignaggi is the #1 140-pounder in the world.”