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Paulie Malignaggi vs. Gabriel Bracero in the works for July 30

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By Patrick McHugh: Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi (35-7, 7 KOs) could be back inside the ring next month against 35-year-old Gabriel Bracero (24-2, 5 KOs) on the undercard of the Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton fight card on July 30 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Malignaggi-Bracero fight is in the process of being finalized, according to Dan Rafael.

Malignaggi won his last bout against Italian Antonio Moscatiello (21-3-1, 14 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant EBU-EU welterweight title last December on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte card.

Malignaggi won his previous fight against Lazlo Fazekas last September by an eight round decision. Before that, Malignaggi was stopped in the 9th round by Danny Garcia in August of last year.


Bracero, who also comes from Brooklyn, defeated Danny O’Connor by a surprise 1st round knockout last October. The fight was supposed to have been a competitive one, but Bracero came out swinging and caught O’Connor with a huge right hand to the head that knocked him clean out. The fight was stopped after just 41 seconds.

Bracero had beaten O’Connor by an eight round unanimous decision four years earlier in 2011. Beating O’Connor the second time was even more impressive because Bracero did it in his own hometown. Bracero isn’t known for being a huge puncher, but he can punch a little when he’s got an opponent that leaves themselves open the way that O’Connor did in that fight.

Malignaggi hasn’t fought in 2016, and there could be some ring rust involved since his last bout was in December of last year. However, Bracero hasn’t fought since last October, so the two of them are kind of in the same boat when it comes to ring rust. Bracero’s last fight only lasted one round against O’Connor.

Bracero’s last true fight was in April of last year in a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision loss to 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz. Bracero didn’t have the talent to compete with the younger and more talented Diaz. That was not one of Bracero’s better efforts.

Malignaggi has lost three out of his last six fights in the last three years since 2013. Besides his knockout loss to Danny Garcia, he was stopped by Shawn Porter by a 4th round knockout in April of 2014 and beaten by Adrien Broner by a questionable 12 round split decision in June 2013.

That was a fight in which Malignaggi lost his WBA welterweight title despite him appearing to outwork Broner. The judges were obviously impressed with Broner’s superior punching power rather than Malignaggi landing more blows in the fight. There was never a rematch between Broner and Malignaggi despite the controversy.

Malignaggi defeated Vyacheslav Senchenko in 2012 by a 9th round knockout to win the WBA welterweight title. It was a big surprise because many boxing fans felt that Senchenko would have too much power and size for Malignaggi.

Malignaggi still has the name to get fights. However, he’s not ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies at this time.


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