Call it the Battle of Brooklyn redux.
Former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi of Bensonhurst is gearing up to defend his Brooklyn’s World Championship Belt in a 10-round showdown after Sunset Park boxer Gabriel Bracero challenged him over Twitter on Wednesday.
Malignaggi defeated another Brooklyn boxer, Zab Judah in December of 2013 at Barclays Center, earning the title of “King of Brooklyn.” Now, he’s coming back to Barclays to roll up the punches on Saturday, July, 30th. The match will be broadcast live on Showtime at 9 p.m.
When the fight was announced, the Brooklyn belt wasn’t part of the conversation, but this battle gives, both Malignaggi and Bracero, the chance to impress their hometown crowd.
Bracero, 35, challenged Malignaggi, 35, his boxing colleague, to respectfully give up his belt.
“You the Brooklyn champion right now. Put your Brooklyn title belt on the line July 30th. Let’s represent Brooklyn the right way!! You from Bensonhurst; I’m from Sunset Park,” Bracero said, and stated that it’s “nothing personal just business.”
In response to Bracero’s social media challenge, Malignaggi tweeted a video saying, “Gabe, I accept your challenge. This right here is Brooklyn’s championship belt, and I’m Brooklyn. On July 30th, this thing is staying right here baby. See you then.”
Barclays CEO Brett Yormark, who runs sports and entertainment, expressed gratitude for both fighters: “There’s nothing more fitting than two Brooklyn fighters, Paulie, of Bensonhurst, and Gabriel, of Sunset Park, standing toe-to-toe in the ring at Barclays Center,” Yormark told ESPN. “Paulie holds the title of Brooklyn’s World Champion. On July 30, his belt is on the line. Who’s going to take it?”