Earlier today, Golden Boy announced that they had a done deal for Shawn Porter to make the first defense of his IBF welterweight title against former 140- and 147-pound titlist Paulie Malignaggi on April 19 as part of the Hopkins-Shumenov card in Washington, DC, live on Showtime.
Malignaggi (33-5, 7 KO) last fought on December 7, beating Zab Judah at the Barclays Center in the fight dubbed "The Battle of Brooklyn." It was a statement win for Paulie a little under six months after he lost a disputed split decision to Adrien Broner, dropping his WBA welterweight title in the process.
That same December night, Porter (23-0-1, 14 KO) scored a mild upset over Devon Alexander to win the IBF welterweight title. Malignaggi, 33, has been around the block a few times now, and knows that the 26-year-old Porter isn't going to easily hand over his first world title and his undefeated record. But Paulie says he's ready for the fight, and that what he really wants are "the big fights":
"I want the really big fights, so this is a really exciting opportunity. I know that it's not an easy fight. Shawn Porter's going to be hungry, especially after winning that first world title. When you win that first world title, you're not ready to give it up, so I know that he's not going to just hand it to me. I know that I'm going to have to work for it, but I know that I'm ready for the challenge."
Malignaggi has had something of a rebirth in the welterweight division, going 6-1 since moving up in weight after a one-sided loss at 140 to Amir Khan in 2010. And he will certainly have the experience edge in this fight, too. While Porter did clearly beat Alexander with a career-best performance, Malignaggi is tricky for just about anyone unless they can manhandle him in one way or another. Does Porter have that in him?