Paulie Malignaggi ‘ready for the challenge’ of Shawn Porter
Paulie Malignaggi has declared himself "ready for the challenge" of dethroning unbeaten IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter when they meet on April 19 at The D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C.
"I've been focused on getting this preparation in, and now the fight has been officially confirmed," said Malignaggi (33-5, 7 knockouts), who in his last fight scored a unanimous decision over ex-beltholder Zab Judah.
"I want to be in that position to command the fights that I want to get. I want the really big fights, so this is a really exciting opportunity. I know that it's not an easy fight. Shawn Porter's going to be hungry, especially after winning that first world title. When you win that first world title, you're not ready to give it up, so I know that he's not going to just hand it to me. I know that I'm going to have to work for it, but I know that I'm ready for the challenge."
Promoted by Golden Boy, Porter-Malignaggi will be the second fight featured on a Showtime-televised card headlined by a 175-pound IBF/WBA unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov. The card will also include Peter Quillin's third defense of his WBO middleweight title against Lukas Konecny.
In victory over Judah, Malignaggi, 33, rebounded from losing his WBA welterweight belt to Adrien Broner by split-decision loss last June.
"I think that I can put myself back into the position I was in last year at this time, when I fought Broner, you know, and,maybe in an even better position," said Malignaggi.
"I think that I should still have that title, and I think that I never should have lost that fight. So another world championship could put me right back into that spot that I really want to be in."
Broner represented Malignaggi’s first loss since falling by 11th-round knockout to Amir Khan as a junior welterweight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May of 2010.
Porter, 26, is coming off a unanimous decision that dethroned Devon Alexander in December, a bout during which he dictated a physical fight that left both men bleeding from cuts above their eyes.
"There are probably going to have to be a lot of adjustments to be made against Porter during the fight, so I'm going to have to fight an intelligent fight. But I feel like I can make a lot of adjustments in the ring, and that I can adjust on the fly," said Malignaggi.
"I feel like I'm a very smart fighter, and that I've become an even smarter fighter through the years and I've gained a lot experience. That's really going to come into play in a fight such as this. It's not going to be an easy fight, so I've got to come 100 percent prepared, and that's what I'm going to do."