Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah are both former world champions, so they have been to boxing’s promised land. There will be no title on the line when they take on each other Dec. 7 in the welterweight main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime), but neither seems to care because they will be fighting for bragging rights to Brooklyn.
Both fighters were born and raised in Brooklyn, and that’s not to be taken lightly.
“I have always admired Zab’s skills and his resume speaks for itself,” Malignaggi said. “But this is the ‘Battle of Brooklyn’ and winning this fight is worth more than any world title.”
Malignaggi, 32, is from the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.
Judah, from the Brownsville section, echoed Malignaggi’s sentiment in his own way.
“I am happy to be back fighting in front of my hometown crowd,” said Judah, who these days lives in Las Vegas. “Paulie and I have known each other for a long time and we have a mutual respect for each other.
“But with this fight on Dec. 7, it is going to be like the Ancient Roman days – there has to be a leader and that position belongs to me.”
Malignaggi is 32-5 with only seven knockouts. Judah, 35, is 42-8 with 29 knockouts.