x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Malignaggi keen on Hatton rematch after decision win over Cano

WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi gave his support to a rematch against Ricky Hatton after defeating former champion Pablo Cesar Cano last night.

Paulie Malignaggi lands a punch through Pablo Cesar Cano's defence during their bout in Brooklyn
Paulie Malignaggi lands a punch through Pablo Cesar Cano's defence during their bout in Brooklyn

Paulie Malignaggi paved the way for a rematch against returning former champion Ricky Hatton after confirming he would be interested in facing the British boxer again.

Hatton is scheduled to fight Vyacheslav Senchenko in manchester next month as he makes his comeback following three years away from the sport.

Malignaggi previously faced Hatton in 2008, when the Brit stopped the Brooklyn native in the 11th round.

"It would be an honour to fight him again," Malignaggi said.

Malignaggi edged Mexico's Pablo Cesar Cano by split decision last night in what was originally to have been a title defence for the World Boxing Association welterweight champion.

Malignaggi won 114-113 on two judges' scorecards to claim the victory, despite the third judge scoring Cano as a 118-109 winner.

The narrow victory margin surprised Malignaggi even though Cano sent him to the canvas with a hard right to the jaw late in the 11th round.

"I thought I won the fight. I thought I won pretty handily," Malignaggi said. "He was pressing the action but he wasn't laying a lot of shots.

"I got a little bit lazy. I was controlling the action. He came over the top and he got me good. But I felt like I won the fight."

Malignaggi's title was not at risk because challenger Cano could not make the 147-pound weight limit on Friday.

Cano, who was cut over his left eye early in the fight by a punch, said he was surprised not to get the decision.

"I definitely don't agree with the decision. I fought much better in the second half of the fight," he said. "I'm going to come back. I feel like I should have won the decision."

Malignaggi, 31, won the WBA crown in Ukraine last April over Senchenko.

Meanwhile Danny Garcia scored a fourth round stoppage over Mexico's Erik Moralesto retain his WBC and WBA super lightweight belt.

Garcia (25-0) beat Morales for the second time this year, though this one was much easier than the unanimous decision he won from the 36-year-old in Houston on March 24. After a quiet opening two rounds, Garcia began getting the best of Morales with a series of body blows in the third.

Garcia continued firing blows at Morales in the fourth and ended it quickly it for this 16th career knockout. He hit Morales on the right side of the head with a sharp left hook, and climbed the ropes in triumph while awaiting the official announcement.

The 24-year-old Philadelphia native had his second fourth-round knockout in three months, following his demolition of Amir Khan in his first title defence in July.