Former 140-pound titlist Paulie Malignaggi has seen a June 27 bout with Mike Alvarado scrapped, and now is looking to revisit the talks that had him fighting ex-135 pound titleholder Juan Diaz. Malignaggi wants to face Diaz on the July 18 undercard of the Mayweather-Marquez pay-per-view, according to BoxingScene.com.
Malignaggi (26-2, 5 KO) last fought in April, beating Christopher Hernandez over eight rounds, a decent rebound from his dominant November loss to Ricky Hatton. Diaz (34-2, 17 KO) is coming off of a tough ninth round TKO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, which remains my frontrunner for 2009 Fight of the Year.
Diaz was originally proposed as a featured fighter on the Mayweather-Marquez undercard, but Golden Boy decided to move him to an August 22 date on HBO's Boxing After Dark, which for now looks like it will be opposed by two potential PPV offerings (Jones-Lacy and a Top Rank show, if neither gets reworked, moved, or called off). Boxing fans complain that we get no good undercard fights anymore. Diaz-Malignaggi would qualify just nicely, if you ask me, and combined with Zab Judah-Matthew Hatton would make for three fights I'm interested in seeing. Assumedly Diaz would move up to 140 for the bout, and I'd like to see if the extra five pounds do something for him, plus it's a fun style matchup. Judah-Hatton is a little bit interesting just because the lesser Hatton really just might beat Judah if he can hang in there and land some good blows.
If Golden Boy decides not to go this route -- and let's be honest, they won't -- Malignaggi says he's open to working out the August 22 date against Diaz, too. The biggest rumor for Diaz's 8/22 opponent thus far has been Rolando Reyes.