Paulie Malignaggi said he'd become boxing's king of Brooklyn, and he did it last night with a clear decision win over Zab Judah at the Barclays Center. Now, Malignaggi is looking for a big fight opportunity.
"This is an emotional win for me," said Malignaggi. "It definitely allows me to continue boxing. If I had lost, I don't know that I would have wanted to continue. But this big win puts me in the right spot to fight in this division for lots of money. Lots."
Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KO) said before the fight that he was hoping a win would land him a shot at the winner of this coming weekend's Broner-Maiana fight in San Antonio, also televised on Showtime, and with it, a shot at regaining the WBA belt he lost to Broner in June of this year by split decision. That may indeed be the next fight for Paulie, or he could go elsewhere. There are going to be opportunities.
Malignaggi also gave credit to Judah after the fight.
"Walking to the ring was pretty surreal. As a teenager I watched Zab fight and to walk into the ring and fighting against him was very surreal. Not that I never expected myself not to be successful, but it was still something very surreal," said Malignaggi. "I felt like this showed that this sport can unify everyone. I looked up to this guy when I was coming up in the sport and he's one of the greats."