Fans may call it “Manchester Muscle vs. New York Flash,” “England vs. United States,” “Brawler vs. Boxer,” or simply a clash between the two best 140-pound fighters in the world. However, no matter how one describes the match-up between the pride of England, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, and Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi, fans can be sure that the Saturday, Nov. 22 junior welterweight world championship unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be one of the most intriguing and exciting fights of 2008.
Tickets priced at $1,000, $750, $500, $300 and $150 go on sale Friday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. Ticket sales are limited to four (4) per person at the $1,000 price level and a total of two (2) tickets at $750, $500, $300 or $150. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.ticketmaster.com.
“Hatton is an aggressive puncher who swarms his opponents from start to finish while Malignaggi is one of the best pure boxers in the game today,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “As a fan, I am excited to see if Hatton can lure Malignaggi into a brawl or if Malignaggi can dictate the tempo and make the fight his. No matter what happens, I think when their styles collide, it’s going to make for great action and great drama.”
Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, said, “Paulie Malignaggi is a champion and an elite fighter. I am thrilled that he will be able to achieve superstardom when he fights Ricky, one of the world’s most popular and accomplished fighters.”
Hatton vs. Malignaggi, a 12-round Junior Welterweight World title unification bout for Hatton’s Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight World Championship and Malignaggi’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Welterweight World Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Punch Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, and will air live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.
Richard Sturm, president of Sports and Entertainment for MGM MIRAGE, said, “We welcome the return of Ricky Hatton and his supporters to MGM Grand in November as well as the opportunity to host Paulie Malignaggi’s Las Vegas debut. We have no doubt this could be one of the most exciting events of 2008 for the fans as well as our customers and look forward to an electric atmosphere inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.”
Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming for HBO Sports, believes this will be a great event and said, “Ricky Hatton and Paulie Malignaggi will give fight fans their money’s worth on November 22. They define themselves by their ring accomplishments and they will lay it all on the line in November.”
An international superstar hailing from Manchester, England, the storied career of Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs) began in 1997 and for the last 11 years, he has been thrilling fight fans around the world with his aggressive style in the ring and down to earth attitude outside. Owner of wins over Kostya Tszyu, Vince Phillips, Luis Collazo, Jose Luis Castillo and Juan Urango, Hatton, a two-division world champion, fell short of the pound-for-pound and world welterweight championships in his 2007 superfight against Floyd Mayweather. However, the 29-year-old bounced back impressively at 140 pounds in May as he scored a near shutout 12-round unanimous decision over Juan Lazcano.
“This is a big fight for me and I’m happy to return to Las Vegas to show my fans in the States that the “Hitman” is back and better than ever,” said Hatton. “To be honest, I’ve never felt fitter and I’m very excited about the prospect of being the first fighter to knock out Paulie Malignaggi.”
Known for his flashy style and ability to out-talk any fighter in the world, Brooklyn’s Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs) also has developed a reputation for the knack of overcoming adversity throughout his seven-year pro career. A dazzling boxer with a stiff jab, lightning speed and quick combinations, the 27-year-old gained a legion of fans for his gutsy effort in a 12-round defeat at the hands of Miguel Cotto in 2006, and even more followers jumped on his bandwagon when he nearly shut out Lovemore N’dou in 2007 to win the IBF Junior Welterweight crown. Malignaggi has since defended his title against Herman Ngoudjo and in a rematch against N’dou, but a victory over Hatton is what this New Yorker is truly seeking.
Malignaggi stated, “I am thrilled to be involved in the biggest 140 pound fight of 2008. This will be my first fight in Las Vegas which makes it much more exciting. Las Vegas’ nickname is the ‘City of Lights’ so it is only fitting that on November 22 “The Magic Man” will be lighting up “The Hitman” all over the MGM Grand Garden Arena.”