Paul Malignaggi said he wanted to use this summer to take a few months to smell the roses, travel and eat an extra slice of pizza if he feels like it. But the summer is nearing a close, and the Brooklyn-bred boxer, who is planning a move back to NYC from L.A., is starting to ponder his next bout.
On the grapevine, we've heard he might be stepping in with another New York veteran, Zab Judah, who grew up in the fabled pugilistic haven of Brownsville. We reached out to Malignaggi (age 32; 32-5 with 7 KOs), who did nothing to harm his reputation with his last effort, a split-decision loss to Adrien Broner (age 24; 27-0 with 22 KOs), whose buzz dropped a notch as he wasn't able to have his way with Paulie as many experts surmised he would at Barclays Center on June 22.
So, Paulie, what about it? You and Zab?
"It's a rumor, but at least this one I've heard," he said. "Unlike the ones before it. I'm not sure how much truth there is, or how much of a chance there is it of it happening."
It's more than a rumor, Zab's dad and oftentimes trainer, Yoel Judah, told me via text late Monday night. "It's on," he texted.
Malignaggi said he heard Zab has a date set for Dec. 7, but reiterated to me that Judah isn't the signed, sealed and delivered dance partner, not yet anyway. "Thus far, I have no concrete offer," Malignaggi said.
Would he be psyched for that scrap? "For the right price, anything can be made," he said, with a chuckle.
Readers, I'd like to hear your thoughts. Is there a possibility that Judah, age 35, operates in too similar a manner as Malignaggi, with ring generalship and savvy counter-punching being top traits in his skill set? Or do you see this as a case where two motivated vets, seeking to remain relevant and in a top tax bracket, give the very best of themselves and put on a zesty clash?