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Boxing Preview: Amir Khan vs. Paulie Malignaggi

 KhanMalignaggiWeighIn Hoganphotos21 Boxing Preview: Amir Khan vs. Paulie Malignaggi
© Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos

British icon Amir Khan makes his American debut this evening at New York's famed Madison Square Garden as the former Olympic medallist defends his WBA super lightweight crown against hometown hero Paulie Malignaggi.

Khan, 22-1 (16), is coming off a first round destruction of another New Yorker, Dmitriy Salita, in December in which he retained the WBA bauble for the first time but in Malignaggi, Amir meets a far more experienced operator.

Malignaggi, 27-3 (5), is a former IBF titlist and has been in the ring with a level of opposition far greater than what Khan has been in with but that advantage on paper will be unlikely to play a part once the bell rings tonight.

And that is because the light-hitting Malignaggi doesn't have the pop to expose Khan's less than granite chin and will have to use his good footwork and energy level catch the faster, younger, stronger Englishman and force a fight.

Malignaggi does have a world class chin and if he can absorb what the heavy-handed Khan can dish out, he could take away the Bolton man's confidence and outwork the WBA champion down the stretch.

But if Khan can maintain distance and box from the outside, it will be a long night for Malignaggi.

The undercard features a superb clash at light welter between seasoned warrior Nate Campbell, 33-5-1 (25), and younger upstart Victor Ortiz, 26-2-1 (21), over ten rounds.

Both fighters can punch with authority but Campbell has the greater experience and better chin and should emerge victorious in what will almost certainly be a barnburner.

About Richard Eberline

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