Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions card will be highlighted by a fight between two welterweights that are in completely different parts of their careers. Danny Garcia is one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars, making his first debut in the 147-pound weight limit division, while Paulie Malignaggi is nearing the end of his career and looking to prove that he hasn’t lost what once made him a champion.
Garcia is making the move from light welterweight, a division in which he dominated and never suffered a defeat. He’s a heavy favorite in his first fight in the new weight class, and he’s feeling confident against the veteran Malignaggi, a Brooklyn native who’ll be fighting in front of his hometown crowd at Barclays Center.
"Everything is better at 147 [pounds]," Garcia said at a press conference. "I feel stronger. My form feels good. The footwork is great. I can eat regularly now. Still disciplined, but it's a lot easier."
Malignaggi hasn’t had nearly as much success as Garcia in recent years. He’s lost two of his last three bouts, and his most recent defeat against Shawn Porter looked like it might be his last. The 34-year old suffered a fourth-round knockout on April 19, 2014 that was unlike any of the five other losses he’s experienced in his career.
“A year ago, I was hurt pretty bad in a fight against Shawn Porter,” Malignaggi wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “He went off like a grenade, and I took a lot of punches. I went from the ropes, to the canvas, to the hospital. I've never been hurt like that before.”
All four boxers that will be on the televised portion of the card made weight on Friday. Before Garcia and Malignaggi step into the ring. Daniel Jacobs and Sergio Mora will square off in middleweight title bout.
Tale of the Tape
Danny Garcia Paulie Malignaggi
Age: 27 34
Height: 5’8 ½ 5’8
Weight: 146.6 146.8
Reach: 68 ½” 70”
Stance: Orthodox Orthodox
Record: 30-0, 17 KO 33-6, 7 KO
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPN