With the news breaking, that the negotiations between promoter Johnny Eames’ Showtime Sports Events (SSE) promotional outfit and WBA Interim Welterweight Champion Diego Chaves’ camp have been terminated, it seemed inevitable that the proposed title clash between the Argentinian and WBA Welterweight King, Brooklyn, New York’s Paulie ‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi would no longer take place in Abu Dhabi, UAE in May.
However, following various transatlantic phone calls over the past thirty six hours, between SSE’s Managing Director, Gianluca Di Caro, and Paulie Malignaggi’s lawyer, Steven Bash, the mouthwatering clash, between the WBA’s top ranked Welterweight pairing remains a possibility for the Gulf state's inaugural World Championship event.
The deal clincher came after Gianluca Di Caro agreed to SSE continuing their pursuit of Chaves, by participating in the March 11th WBA ordered purse bids.
In return Paulie Malignaggi agreed that should their quest be unsuccessful, that he would be just as happy to fight four weight World Champion, Tijuana, Mexico’s Humberto Soto in an equally mouthwatering WBF/WBA unification battle on May 18th.
On his arrival in Las Vegas, where on Saturday evening he will be color commentating on WBA Lightweight World Champion Richard ‘El Tigre’ Abril’s first defense of his Crown against Sharif ‘The Lion’ Bogere at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Paulie Malignaggi stated.
“The opportunity to fight in Abu Dhabi excites me.
I am a fighter always searching for new challenges and goals and winning the WBF welterweight title along with defending my WBA welterweight title in a historic place like Abu Dhabi would be a huge feather in my hat.
I feel like boxing could have a new city to hold mega fights and events and if by me fighting there I could be a part of that, well that is just the kind of situation I look for and it motivates me to strive to continue to be the best.
Whether the opportunity comes from Showtime Sports Events winning the purse bid or from possibly an opponent change to Humberto Soto it still remains an exciting situation for me as both of those guys are warriors and would be worthy opponents.”
Paulie ‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi, against either Diego Chaves or Humberto Soto, for the WBF and WBA World Welterweight Championships, will headline a World Class evening of professional boxing at the Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on May 18th.
Co-headlining sees IBF Flyweight World Champion, South Africa’s Moruti ‘Babyface’ Mthalane competing against Filipino super star Sonny Boy Jaro for the vacant WBF Flyweight title.
Supporting the exciting double header sees at least two further World Championship bouts, including WBF Light Welterweight Champion Zolani Marali defending his coveted Crown against mandatory challenger, WBF Interim title holder, Tijuana, Mexico’s Antonio ‘Cañitas’ Lozada Jr.
At least one further World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Championship bout is expected to announced shortly.
The final Championship bout of the night features former British and IBO World Champion Colin Lynes battling it out with Poland’s EBU-EU Champion Rafal Jackiewicz for the vacant WBF Inter-Continental Welterweight title, as well as earn the right to challenge the winner of Malignaggi – Chaves or Soto for the World title later in the year.
Supporting the sensational feature Championship bouts will see four future World Champions in action - two time Lithuanian National Amateur Heavyweight Champion Paulius Kasiulevicius, exciting Turkish Light Heavyweight Onder Ozgu, Albanian Middleweight Festim Lama and sensational London, UK based Saudi Light Welterweight Zouhair Siddiq, a highly exciting young prospect who was not only selected for the Beijing Olympics (unable to compete due to injury) but also won the prestigious London ABAs.