WBO/NABO light welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (27-3, 5 KO’s) is ready to face pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao on the March 13 date previously set aside for a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr super fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Chicago based Filipino reporter Joseph Lariosa said that Malignaggi, in a phone interview on Christmas eve in the US told him he was willing to submit to a blood test “ten times” even on the eve of a fight with Pacquiao if it will be his chance to fight the Filipino boxing great.
Malignaggi said he was excited and honored to be mentioned alongside other fighters being considered as possible opponents for Pacquiao after negotiations on a proposed Mayweather fight were called off.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum called off the fight and said "Mayweather can go to hell with their outrageous demands" after the Mayweather camp and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer insisted that Pacquiao submit himself to drug tests which include blood tests to be conducted by the US Anti Doping Agency.
Arum and Pacquiao agreed to a blood test on the eve of the kickoff press conference, 30 days before the fight and immediately after the fight pointing out that if Pacquiao was on performance-enhancing drugs as alleged by the Mayweather camp then it would be discovered in the tests. Arum also, by way of a compromise, said they were willing to undergo tests conducted by the professional group that tests NBA, NFL and MBL players. But Schafer turned this down.
Malignaggi told Lariosa that facing Pacquiao will be “a big challenge” but he is always optimistic when facing any opponent He said he would be able to come up with a strategy to beat Pacquiao or anybody else, including Mayweather.
Malignaggi said “I know Manny is a great fighter but I c an always find a way to beat him” said the American of Italian-descent, adding “you saw how I beat Juan Diaz.”
While stating that Pacquiao’s refusal to submit to a blood test a day before the fight as demanded by the Mayweather camp “always raises some questions” Malignaggi said “but I won’t mind if Manny refuses to submit to a blood test a day before the fight. If Manny wants to submit to a blood test a month before the fight, it’s not a problem with me. I am willing to submit to a blood test ten times a day before the fight if I am going to face Manny.”
The Brooklyn New York native said it did not matter whether the fight was at light welterweight or welterweight..
Malignaggi is coming off a big win over Juan Diaz in a rematch after Diaz won a hugely controversial decision in their first fight in Houston, Texas.