• Welterweight

Malignaggi keen on Hatton rematch

ESPN staff
September 17, 2012
Ricky Hatton beat Paulie Malignaggi back in 2008 © Getty Images

WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi has admitted he is interested in a rematch against the returning Ricky Hatton, although he will respect the Brit's decision if he pursues other fights.

Hatton, 33, announced his return to boxing last week, with his first fight back coming in November. A world title fight with Malignaggi - who was beaten by Hatton in 2008 - has been discussed as a possible second fight of his comeback, although the 'Hitman' has played down that prospect.

Malignaggi, however, insists he would be open to a rematch.

"I'd love to get the chance to set the record straight if it comes to that," Malignaggi told BBC Radio Five Live. "If it doesn't, if Ricky doesn't look good in his comeback or things don't go that way, then all the respect to Ricky. He's earned the right to make any decision he wants.

"What he says and what he does should be respected, no matter what."

Malignaggi admitted that Hatton's performance when he fights on November 24 will have a huge influence on his chances of negotiating big fights heading into 2013.

"I'm keen and interested in his comeback. I lost to him four years ago," he said. "I'm curious to see how he looks on November 24.

"Based on how he looks then, it will be a big measuring stick in terms of his name being mentioned with world championship fighters in 2013 and 2014."

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