On ShoBox last Thursday night rising prospect Paul Malignaggi upped his record to 18-0 (5) with a near shutout win over ten rounds against rugged campaigner Ramiro Cano, 18-2 (14). The brash Brooklynite has earned his fair share of detractors with his flashy persona and outspoken attitude, but that's just the way he likes it. The unbeaten 23-year-old dropped by the Doghouse to discuss his recent win and all things boxing with Benny Henderson Jr.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Your fight with Ramiro Cano, when exactly did you re-injure you right hand?
Paul Malignaggi: It happened in the 3rd round when I hit him with a one-two that actually hurt him. I started feeling the pain then. When I went for the follow up barrage, it was painful every right hand I was landing. So for the rest of the fight it was in pain. As the fight went on I actually hurt my left hand as well.
BH: How hard was it to continue throughout the bout?
PM: Yes it was very hard to continue. The inside of my glove felt like it was pins and needles. Kind of like when you wake up from sleeping on your hand. And when I was landing it was hurting more, and I felt the pain of pins and needles sensation even when I wasn't throwing punches. I could not close either hand when I went to the dressing room and my right hand was drenched in blood. Both were very swollen.
BH: Even with your injury to your hand you dominated every round. How much more different do you think the fight would have been without the injury?
PM: Without a doubt I would have stopped him. People have this myth about Paul Malignaggi can't punch, but my hand injuries have plagued my career and prevented me from punching with the full force on my combinations. Whether it be this fight or other fights in the past my hands have given me problems. I should have at least double the knock outs on my record, at least double.
BH: Since it's been a problem in the past and is problem in the present, do you think your hands will be a problem in the future?
PM: I hope not, I try to be optimistic about the problems I've had with my hands.
BH: Are you doing anything to correct or try to correct your hand problem?
PM: I ice them all the time and I soak them, I exercise them. I may have to perform surgery in the future, but it's an option I'd rather not get in to because I've already had surgery.
BH: Which fighter would you like to face next?
PM: Nobody I really have in mind, a lot of big mouths have called me out but have turned out to be jokes. If I were to pick someone one it would be a fighter that means something.
BH: Other fighters have said that you haven't proven yourself to be a top fighter just yet. How do you respond to that?
PM: If you look at my opponent combined records they have a very high winning percentage combined.
BH: Who do you think you should fight to gain the respect you so deserve?
PM: I think fighting a former champion or someone with a regional title like Mike Stewart. But he don't want no part of Paul Malignaggi and you can bet he'll shake in his boots when he reads that sentence... and that's 'No Joke'!
BH: Your bout with Kevin Watts. How important was it to you to win that fight in front of all his fans?
PM: It was good because it showed I could go into hostile territory and come out victorious.
BH: Was all the booing intimidating, or was it just motivation?
PM: Nah the booing was just motivation. Any time a crowd gives me any sort of reaction it's motivation to me, whether it's booing or cheering.
BH: What is your best quality as a boxer?
PM: My jab, and my ring generalship. My speed and I am thinking ring all time and know how to make proper adjustments. Fighters fear being embarrassed when they fight me. Because not only are they fighting a better fighter, but they are also fighting a guy who is going to make them look stupid throughout the bout. And that can be an intimidating thing.
BH: Who was your boxing hero's growing up?
PM: My favorite fighter is Arturo Gatti. I always admired him growing up.
BH: Would you fight Arturo if he wanted to fight you?
PM: If the money was right, I'd fight anyone, including Arturo Gatti.
BH: Do you have anything you'd like to say to the fans?
PM: To all my fans keep supporting me, I love you all and I will not disappoint. And to all the haters, don't jump on the bandwagon when I become the best fighter pound-for-pound, because I don't need you then and nor do I want you then. But I thank you haters for the extra motivation.
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