WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO) has been given a deadline of January 27, 2013, to face interim titlist Diego Chaves of Argentina.
It's actually a pretty decent fight on paper, as Chaves (22-0, 18 KO) is a capable fighter and we've all see what the country has produced when their fighters take steps up recently, with Sergio Martinez, Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, and Carlos Abregu all having various levels of success recently.
Malignaggi last fought on October 20, beating Pablo Cesar Cano via disputed split decision in Brooklyn. He won the title earlier this year in Ukraine, defeating Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Much of Malignaggi's recent plans have seemed centered around a money rematch with Ricky Hatton, but if the WBA holds firm here, he'll have to face Chaves to get Hatton, assuming Ricky beats Senchenko on November 24. Hatton isn't interested in facing Malignaggi for the money, but rather for Paulie's belt. Without the belt, it would just be a rematch against a guy Hatton convincingly defeated in 2008, and would lose pretty much all of its appeal from his end.
Given that Malignaggi didn't exactly look spectacular against Cano, it seems he's at the point in his career where some nights he'll really have it, as he did against Senchenko, and others he just might not. That makes any fight dangerous, and Chaves is no bum. He's a natural welterweight with power.
We'll see what happens here. If the fight's made, it could land in Brooklyn, as Golden Boy plans to return there in January for their next Barclays Center card, and that's about the only place it makes sense for Paulie to have this fight.