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Assuming his position as the underdog, Malignaggi is eager to shock Juan Diaz!

Just twenty six months ago, Paulie Malignaggi was celebrating the biggest victory of his career, along with his first world title, when he outpointed Lovemore Ndou by a wide margin at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Since that fateful June night, Malignaggi would see his career take a gradual decline with title defenses that were less than stellar, including a return match with Ndou across the pond in England in May of 2008, resulting in a much closer and questionable split decision for the Brooklyn native.

Malignaggi was last seen in action on November 22, 2008, when he was dominated and stopped in eleven rounds by defending champion Ricky Hatton when his trainer that night, Buddy McGirt, mercifully saved his fighter from taking any further punishment. The former IBF junior welterweight titlist looks to make his return to the ring an impressive one when he takes on former lightweight titlist Juan Diaz on August 22 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.

In an interview conducted by Thomas Newton at Eastside Boxing, Malignaggi stated that he plans to revert back to his old ways that made him successful and put on a boxing clinic. Malignaggi said in the interview, “Well you’re going to see the old Paulie Malignaggi back in action. We have got a great game plan on August 22nd, and I am ready for anything baby bull has to offer. We have got a great team and I am going to put on a boxing clinic.”

This reporter is quick to note that Malignaggi has terminated the services of his trainers following each of his two defeats and proceeded to hire a replacement. Since the Hatton fight, Malignaggi has once again done some house cleaning to his team with the implementation of a new trainer - Coney Island native Sharif Younan.

Following his loss to Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden back in June of 2006, Malignaggi was enthusiastic with the replacement of McGirt as his trainer, believing that McGirt would take him to another level and help him beat the best in the world. After his humiliating loss to Hatton, however, Malignaggi would claim that he and McGirt simply did not click and is now training under the close eyes of Younan. Out with the old and in with the new, I suppose.

Alhtough Malignaggi refuses to look past the challenge in front of him, he acknowledges all of the big names that are currently campaigning in and around the 140lb weight class. "Well, there are a lot of great fighters in that division...you got Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosely and Juan Manuel Marquez moving up. Therefore, there are definitely big names in this division. We will weigh up our options after Diaz on August 22nd," said Malignaggi. Fans will get the chance to see how well Malignaggi is able to rebound from his latest set back in less than a couple weeks.

Diaz vs. Malignaggi will headline HBO Boxing After Dark on August 22.

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