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Gianluca Branco withdraws from Saturday's fight with Paulie Malignaggi

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Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

One of the more competitive fights from this upcoming Saturday's London card is no more.

Multiple sources report that EBU welterweight champion Gianluca Branco has bowed out from his fight with Paulie Malignaggi, deciding instead to face his mandatory challenger on an unspecified date.

What makes this decision confusing is that said mandatory challenger is Leonard Bundu (32-1-2, 11 KO), a ranked welterweight who handed Frankie Gavin his first loss and went the distance with Keith Thurman. I honestly can't understand why Branco would not only wait until the week of the fight to put the kibosh on this fight, but do so in favor of facing a far more dangerous opponent with far less of a name on a far smaller platform.

But hey, they pay me to write, not to think.

The rest of the card, headlined by Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte, appears intact. Don't worry, folks; Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. Spike O'Sullivan is safe and sound.

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