Things falling into place for 140-pound unification tournament
NEW YORK -- It wasn't enough for
"He said, 'Send a statement to the world,' Khan said. "Go out and finish this guy off."
Khan did, bombarding Malignaggi with a flurry of punches until referee
Khan's victory brought a measure of clarity to a deep and talented 140-pound division. Four men -- Khan,
Though a Maidana-Bradley matchup was recently scrapped due to Maidana's back injury, the "tournament" shouldn't experience any bumps in the road. Team Khan's first choice for an opponent was Maidana anyway, in part because Khan has been accused of ducking the heavy-handed Argentinean and in part because they believe Khan can easily outbox him.
[Maidana's] boxing ability sucks," said Roach. "The guy [
"A lot of people think I was avoiding Maidana," Khan said. "Malignaggi was a bigger fight for me. If the big guys want to fight me, line up. I'd like to face Maidana next to send a statement."
With Maidana and Khan both under the promotional umbrella of Golden Boy, that fight shouldn't be difficult to make. Golden Boy Promotions CEO
Both Bradley and Alexander are amenable to this final four format. Bradley's promoter,
"Khan said he wants Maidana. They can fight each other and let us fight one of the guys that beat them," Cunningham said. "Kotelnik is a former world champion. Prescott is a very dangerous puncher. You saw what happened to Khan when he fought him. If things were to go the way we want them to we would fight Kotelnik or Prescott in August, Tim Bradley in the fall and then come back and fight the Khan/Maidana winner in the spring."
There is a potential foil in this dream scenario:
Hopefully, all the parties involved will get on the same page -- quickly. The 140-pound division has the fighters and the fighters want to fight. It doesn't get much clearer than that.
• Malignaggi's promoter,
"Paulie never was in this game to be an opponent," DiBella said. "That's not what he wants to be. I think he saw that he doesn't have the same quickness he had three years ago.
DiBella said he would like to see Malignaggi get into broadcasting. He said he planned on using Malignaggi as an analyst for his Broadway Boxing cards and suggested Malignaggi could be a good fit for HBO's vacant seat on its Boxing After Dark shows.
"If he wants to do that kind of stuff, he has to walk away before his brains are scrambled," DiBella said. "He loves boxing. I think he's bright enough and still has enough going for him that he will not overstay his welcome to great danger."
• Schaefer told SI.com that he was moving forward with talks about a possible
• If Khan does decide to fight in July, Schaefer said he would explore adding Khan's fight to the July 31 card featuring the rematch between
• Middleweight prospect
• Speaking of Martinez, the reigning WBC/WBO middleweight champion could be headed for a showdown with former champion