In what will amount to 13-month layoff since getting straight trampled by Shawn Porter, Paulie Malignaggi will make a comeback. He's been vocal about being on the fence about if he would call it quits, and evaluating his future based on the merit of his prospects, but apparently he's found a decent payday in Danny O'Connor.
Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs), will be squaring off with O'Connor (25-2, 9 KOs) in a battle of light-punchers at the Barclay's Center on May 29th in Paulie's hometown of Brooklyn. This will be the opening fight on the PBC card headlined by Amir Khan vs. Chris Algieri.
"After some much needed time away from the ring, it feels great to once again be fighting at Barclays Center," said Malignaggi, "I now look forward to being a participant in the PBC events as a fighter just as I am part of the PBC family of broadcasters."
Danny O'Connor, a native of Boston suburb Framingham, is amidst a bit of a comeback of his own after recently ending his own retirement. He was being managed by a member of punk band Dropkick Murphys, but couldn't get really get on the big stage like those with the big promoters. But now he's signed with the powerful Al Haymon, a man he says he's never actually met in person.
"I haven't really had any interactions with him," O'Connor said. "I've talked to people representing him. He wants the spotlight on the fighters, where it belongs."
With O'Connor now having the political ties he needs to get bigger opportunities, he finds himself faced with the first big name opponent of his career, and he'll have to try to make the best of the chances he has.
"My supporters and I have been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this on the big stage," O'Connor said. "It's a throwback matchup -- Irish versus Italian, Boston versus New York. I'll be bringing down busloads of people, and I'm sure he's going to have a big hometown crowd. I've never been more ready for the challenge that lies ahead of me."
From a promoter's angle, they'll be sure to play up the classic Italian-Irish, New-York-Boston rivalry which should be sufficient enough to capture the attention of even some casual fans.