Paulie Malignaggi Excited for Brooklyn Homecoming, Still Talking Hatton Rematch

Paulie Malignaggi will help open Barclays Center in Brooklyn this fall, and hopes next year to rematch Ricky Hatton. (Photo by John Gichigi/Bongarts/Getty Images)

WBA welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi is extremely excited to be part of the first-ever boxing card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 20, and says that he still wants a Ricky Hatton rematch, which is an idea that has been batted around plenty lately.

Malignaggi hopes that fighters from Brooklyn, like him, will look at Barclays as the new Madison Square Garden in the coming years:

"When you come from New York, you always look forward to fighting in Madison Square Garden. But when you're someone like me, and you're fighting out of Brooklyn, the only reason you dream of fighting out of Madison Square Garden is because there was never something like the Barclays arena in Brooklyn to keep dreaming about. But now that the arena is up and ready to go, and I'm actually going to fight in it, it's unbelievable."

Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KO) found himself "back" in the boxing game with his dominant April win over Vyacheslav Senchenko in Ukraine, and will be facing Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KO) on October 20 as the chief support to the main event of the night, a rematch between Danny Garcia and Erik Morales.

Paulie also says that the big fight on his mind is still a potential rematch with a possibly comebacking Ricky Hatton, who has dropped a lot of weight with rumors flying that he'll be giving boxing a final run:

"I just felt like that anybody that fought me in 2008 didn't see the Paulie Malignaggi that everyone else in my career had to fight, you know? Anybody who fought me in 2008 almost got lucky in that regard. ... I respect Ricky Hatton for everything that he's accomplished and for everything that he's done in boxing. I respect him for being the gentleman that he is. But there were a lot of factors in there. So if he's making a comeback, then I would like to fight him in a rematch, and it's not going to be the same fight."

I have no problem with this gentleman's request from Malignaggi. I also do think there have surely been legitimate talks about the idea, if indeed Hatton is planning a return, and most seem to think that he is. If it happens next year, then great, I'll be excited to see it because I like both of them.

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