Barclays Center boxing promoters have KO’d the anticipated bout between Bensonhurst-born World Boxing Association welterweight champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi and Flatbush fighter Dmitry “Kosher Kid” Salita — giving the title fight of their Oct. 20 Brooklyn Pride night to two fighters with no connection to the borough.
Golden Boy Promotions, who is scheduling fights for the still-under-construction arena, announced last week that the title fight will be a rematch between Philadelphia-born light welterweight title holder Danny Garcia and Mexican fighter Eric Morales. Garcia took the light welterweight title from Morales this past March during a bout in Texas, organizers said.
Malignaggi won’t be a headliner, but he will be on the card duking it out against Mexican challenger Pablo Cesar Cano.
Salita, who hasn’t stepped in a boxing ring in over a year, will not be fighting — killing the dreams of boxing fans looking for a bout to remember.
Malignaggi said he would have loved to take on Salita since both men are friends and had started their boxing careers at the same time, although in different gyms.
“It would’ve been nice to have a battle of Brooklyn with Dmitriy, but he hasn’t faced strong opposition,” said Malignaggi. “Cano’s faced better opposition.”
Salita’s hopes of fighting at Barclays were quashed when the Kosher Kid failed to wow over Pay-per-view executives, Malignaggi explained.
“My promoters said this was going to be a TV fight and they aren’t going to want Malignaggi vs. Salita for TV,” he said.
Malignaggi’s manager Anthony Catanzaro said Salita needs a few more fights under his belt before he can take on the Magic Man.
“If there’s no interest in him for TV, they aren’t going to have him fight,” Catanzaro said.
But Salita argued he was just as good as Cano and that Malignaggi’s opponent isn’t known in New York since he’s only had one fight outside of his native Mexico.
“I’m a boxing guy, who reads boxing websites everyday, and I’ve never heard of this guy,” the scorned scrapper said. “If they signed Floyd Mayweather or Pacquiao or Bradley, some kind of superstar, I’d understand. But there’s zero mystique with this guy. It’ll probably be an easy fight”
When the bell sounds on Oct. 20 and Malignaggi takes on Cano, Brooklynites will be the ones throwing in the towel — and clicking off their Pay-per-view channel, Salita said.
“Me and Paulie could’ve been a really, really great show for Brooklyn,” said Salita, who says he’s bitter at not getting a shot at Malignaggi’s belt. “I feel like I’m watching the boat leave and I’m not on it.”