MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi believes Floyd Mayweather’s decision to move to cable network Showtime will shake up the boxing landscape.
Malignaggi, who moonlights as a boxing commentator on the Showtime network, spoke to RingTV’s Lem Satterfield about how Mayweather’s new television deal will affect the sport.
“Everybody is really excited. It’s an exciting time and an unprecedented move. You haven’t seen a move like this since Mike Tyson came over to Showtime from HBO in the early 1990s,” Malignaggi said.
Mayweather ended a long relationship with cable network HBO last week, deciding instead to sign a 30-month, six-fight deal with Showtime.
“Floyd Mayweather is putting Showtime on the map,” Malignaggi said of the deal, adding that it will affect the young, up-and-coming boxers as well as the fans.
“I think not just the fighters, but the fans in general, they’re going to want to order Showtime... When it comes to something like this, and you want to watch big-time boxing, then it’s clearly visible that Showtime is making a big move,” he said.
“This was basically the cherry on the top. I think from a fighter’s perspective, they’re going to want to come to Showtime.”
Malignaggi also believes that fans who can’t afford to subscribe to both HBO and Showtime may end up choosing the latter network because of Mayweather’s move.
Malignaggi, who admits he is close to the end of his boxing career, said he is looking forward to calling Mayweather’s fights on pay-per-view.
“It was exciting, just knowing that I’m going to get to call Floyd’s fights on pay-per-view. That was the first thing that I thought of when he signed with Showtime,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh man, this is going to be cool.’”
Malignaggi has a record of 32 wins with four losses. He is coming off a split decision victory over Pablo Cesar Cano in October 2012.