Wednesday, September 27, 2023  |



Paulie Malignaggi aims for European title

Fighters Network

Brooklyn’s Paulie Malignaggi strongly suggested he would retire after his decision loss to Danny Garcia in August at Barclays Center.

But the brash Brooklynite doesn’t appear to be close to hanging up his gloves.

Malignaggi advisor Anthony Catanzaro told on Wednesday that Malignaggi, 34, is targeting European welterweight champion Gianluca Branco for a fight possibly in Italy before the end of the year.

“The question is what’s next, what do we do from here?” Catanzaro said. “We have an eye on the 147-pound Italian European champion Gianluca Branco and that’s a big fight in Europe. That’s his immediate goal. At the end of the day, he didn’t take a bad loss against Garcia. Again, it’s (just) a loss.”

Malignaggi, a former two-division titleholder and respected TV commentator, recently won an eight-round decision against unheralded Laszlo Fazekas on Sept. 26 in Italy.

While Catanzao would like to see Malignaggi (34-7, seven knockouts) retire and focus his energies on commentating full-time, he’s also fully behind his charge and supports whatever decision he makes.

“It’s tough but I cannot retire the fighter,” Catanzaro said on Wednesday in Manhattan at a press conference for the middleweight 12-round fight between Danny Jacobs and Peter Quillin on Dec. 5. “And I won’t abandon him. Of course it’s tough. It’s tough seeing the athlete I once knew not perform at the level he once performed at. But on the flip side, it’s been a tremendous journey and if someone would have told me that I’d be involved with an Italian American like myself from the same neighborhood who I grew up playing soccer with his dad and his uncles and we wound up being a two-weight division world champion, I would have said you’re really smoking that good stuff and guess what? It happened.”

But Catanzaro said that Malignaggi is no longer chasing the biggest money fights possible and is now eyeballing fights that are more winnable.

“The beauty of managing Paulie all those years was, he always dared to be great,” he said. “He’s cut from a different cloth.”