BoxingScene.com is reporting that the IBF may be trying to stop Paulie Malignaggi from defending his 140-pound title against Ricky Hatton in November. This doesn't mean the fight will be called off. It simply means that the IBF, which is of the opinion that mandatory challenger Herman Ngoudjo should get the next shot, simply won't allow Malignaggi to defend his title. That would put Hatton's useless IBO title on the line, but also his Ring championship, and the real, lineal title.
Malignaggi beat Ngoudjo in January, in what I thought was a competitive, entertaining bout, and one worthy of a rematch. I had Malignaggi winning that fight, 115-113, but Ngoudjo tested him and matched up with him nicely.
Frankly, one of two things is happening here:
1. The IBF is simply trying to stand by their own rules. I don't buy this one so much, because that just isn't the usual modus operandi.
2. The IBF isn't big on Ricky Hatton. They would have their reasons. Hatton has twice held the IBF title at 140 pounds and given it up. The first time he vacated to move up to welterweight, when he got a disputed decision win over Luis Collazo. The second time, he gave it up to fight Jose Luis Castillo instead of his mandatory. The body simply may not love the idea of Hatton holding their title again should he win. He has shown little regard for the position in the past.
This is by no means concrete, and could wind up being much ado about nothing. It's not even a big deal, really -- either way, Hatton-Malignaggi will go on on November 22nd in Las Vegas. But as it looks now, Malignaggi will arrive at and leave the building with his IBF strap, no matter what.