PAULIE MALIGNAGGI claimed promoters in America were too ‘comfortable’ before Eddie Hearn made his venture in the US with DAZN.
As Hearn prepared to take on the US market with his sports streaming site DAZN, Al Haymon swiftly announced a new deal with Fox Sports to broadcast PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) fights, and Malignaggi believes the deal was in response to his new British rival.
“I think the presence of Eddie Hearn and DAZN coming in with such a big move in the US has forced the other networks and other promoters to step up as well,” Malignaggi said.
“I do think it all forces everybody to step up their game, the presence of Hearn and DAZN is going to do that in the US.
“Al made a big move with FOX and with Showtime to guarantee us another three years of fights with PBC.
“It was a necessary move and I think it was in response to Eddie’s deal with DAZN. I don’t think that move would’ve necessarily happen if Eddie hadn’t made his big move with DAZN.”
For a long time, the likes of Golden Boy, Top Rank and Al Haymon were left unthreatened, but Malignaggi believes they were ‘too comfortable’ leaving them to miss out on the impact Hearn and the UK boxing scene were causing.
“I think the promoters and people in the US got comfortable for a little while,” he said.
“We’d see big things happen in the UK and we’d say they’re doing it so much better than we are over here. And that was because everyone over in the US was so comfortable.
“There was no competition, there was no one to make you think they can take it away from you if you don’t do it right. So the presence of Matchroom, and DAZN in the US has forced everyone to do it right or otherwise it will be a take over.”
But if Malignaggi, a former two-weight world champion, was still competing today, who would he sign with, DAZN and Hearn or Al Haymon?
“It would be dependent on how long I was with a certain side, it would be dependant on if I was with that side long enough that they would merit loyalty and how I’ve been treated with them during that time,” Malignaggi said.
“If I wasn’t with a side long enough, or they hadn’t signed me up until recently and then this opportunity with DAZN came and it was a better opportunity then it would be a numbers game. And I would be going with DAZN and Matchroom.
“Ultimately your window with boxing is a short one and it closes very fast on you, so you have to be smart – loyalty matters if people have treated you right, but if they haven’t treated you right then you have to look after yourself. It’s circumstantial.”
When Hearn announced his move over to the US, the promoter revealed the likes of the Charlo twins (Jermall and Jermell), Gervonta Davis, and Adrien Broner were all on his wishlist.
But these talented, current and former world champions have all recently been subject to criticism after videos emerged of the boxers seemingly drunk causing trouble and Malignaggi cited ‘grown man decisions’ have to be made.
“I think it comes down to growing up. There are certain grown man decisions that you have to make,” he said.
“They’re young, they are having fun but someone in their right mind has to come up and say I’m a grown man and I have a public image and I have to be really careful with it.
“That comes into personal decisions, you can chalk it up to being young and a fresh star but at some point maturity has to take place over all of that.”