We've been hearing the rumblings and now it's been confirmed - Danny Garcia will be taking on Paulie Malignaggi on PBC on ESPN, August 1st. This is clearly a calculated move by Al Haymon, who also used Malignaggi as Adrien Broner's stepping stone to the welterweight division (because there's little possibility of Paulie inflicting any real damage on Al's young star). I suppose this works out for all those directly involved in making the fight; Danny gets to face an extremely light puncher while moving up in weight, Paulie gets another big show and payday, and Al Haymon gets to keep his young rising stars on a relatively safe path.
"It's going to be a great fight against Paulie on August 1st," said Garcia. "I'm looking forward to getting in the ring again, in my fifth appearance at Barclays Center, and putting on a great show for the East Coast fans in attendance and the fans watching all over the world. By the end of the night, I will still be the undefeated Danny 'Swift' Garcia. To all of the fans that love me, I love you too. This is for you."
The contracted weight hasn't been disclosed to my knowledge, but it appears this fight will actually take place at the full welterweight limit of 147lbs.
"August 1 will mark Danny Garcia's first fight as a true welterweight," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "It'll take place at Barclays Center, in the backyard of Brooklyn's Paulie Malignaggi. This high quality PBC matchup on ESPN is a must-win situation for both fighters."
"This classic Philly versus New York match-up featuring two of boxing's biggest stars is exactly why ESPN is televising Premier Boxing Champions," said Brian Kweder, senior director of programming and acquisitions at ESPN. "Danny Garcia has laid waste to the junior welterweight division and instead of easing his way into the welterweight division, he's fighting a former world champion in Paulie Malignaggi."
Typical promoter talk here - as if Danny hasn't already been easing himself into the welterweight division, quite comfortably, over the past year or so...But, ok, who is giving Paulie a good chance to win this fight?