The bookies have Leo Santa Cruz going in as a slight favourite, but former World champion Paulie Malignaggi is adamant the July 30th featherweight World title fight between the Mexican-American and Carl Frampton is too close to call.
Indeed, the Brooklyn native, who recently used his Italian roots to win the European Union title, claims the only certainty when the pair meet is that they will produce a value for money clash live on the Showtime broadcast card.
The New York fan-favourite, who doubles up as a respected pundit, was complementary of ‘The Jackal’ the last time the former IBF and WBA super bantamweight World champion fought in America, while others were critical of the performance.
However, despite officially welcoming the Cyclone Promotions star to the United States and New York City remaining with him through a media workout at Gleason’s Gym, Malignaggi remained impartial when giving a fight prediction.
The Magic Man didn’t quite sit on the fence, but did say the clash was too close call.
“The main event is going to be a great fight. When you look at the styles and the pedigrees of both men, it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen,” said the former two-weight World champion.
“Both guys have exciting styles so I’m betting on the fans getting their money’s worth.”
Malignaggi will himself be in action on the night as he faces fellow Brooklyn-native Gabriel Bracero at the Barclay’s Center.
Commenting on his clash he added “I think my fight with Bracero is an interesting clash of styles.”
“We have similar styles in that we like to box and counter punch but we’re also both very familiar with each other. I’m sure he’ll have something up his sleeve for me.”
“Making this kind of all-Brooklyn fight is great for the fans. We both have our own followings so it should make for an electric atmosphere at Barclays Center.”