Sometimes when I think about all the injuries I've had to my hand it starts to feel like it almost becomes not worth it," Malignaggi said. "Is it worth it to go into the ring a half-ass fighter with one hand? When my hand is broken I feel like I'm cheating the fans and myself.
Although Hatton will go into this fight the favorite, Malignaggi has nothing but disdain for the Brit's style of fighting - which includes a lot of holding -- and predicts he will easily defeat him. "The guy holds because he doesn't know how to fight," Malignaggi said. "If he had had his whole career in the U.S., where he can't get away with holding as much, he would have been nothing but a club fighter. I'll tell you now; I am going to whip his ass."
Malignaggi says he is more concerned about Hatton being allowed by the referee to hold than he is about getting hit by him. "He's a nice guy and has a good family, but I just don't like the way he fights," Malignaggi said. "If you miss a punch against him, he extends his hands and grabs you. They call it working inside. That's bullshit. It's not fighting, it's wrestling. If Ricky wants to wrestle I'll come to the fight wearing tights and we can do like they do in the WWE."
And it would probably fill the seats. Hatton is the most popular fighter in England, drawing huge crowds when he fights, a fact which perplexes Malignaggi. "I don't know why he is so popular in England. When he fights it is a free-for-all, like rugby, with all the rabbit punches, holding and hitting while holding. In Las Vegas they have a good commission, and I hope they do the right thing and make it a fair fight and let the best guy win. If he gets away with holding, I have a plan. If he tries to make it a free-for-all, then it will be a free-for-all for both of us," Malignaggi said.
The Brit has promised that fans will see a new and improved Ricky Hatton, one who uses his jab more and boxes rather than grapples. That's because after his last fight - a lackluster victory over Juan Lazcano in May - Hatton fired his long-time trainer, Billy Graham, and hired Floyd Mayweather Sr. on September 5. "I don't know what Floyd is going to do for him," Malignaggi said. "Maybe add a little defense, make him box more. But you need talent to work with the things Floyd teaches, and Ricky doesn't have the talent or ability to take it in and absorb it. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. They're making a mistake if they think Paulie Malignaggi is a guinea pig for an experiment with a new trainer."
Should Malignaggi back up his words and win, Hatton told the BBC in an interview last month that he will probably quit. "I can understand why people say maybe time has caught up with me," Hatton told the BBC. "Maybe I'm showing signs of wear and tear, but I don't know that." Asked if he would retire if he lost, he said: "I probably would, yeah."
Still in his prime, Malignaggi has no plans for retiring -- unless his right hand makes the decision for him. In training camp for this fight, Malignaggi said he was confident the hand would hold up. "It's fine. I've been hitting hard. Everybody's going to find out how good my hand is, especially Ricky Hatton," Malignaggi said.