A swarm of media descended on Dumbo yesterday to cover an Oscar De La Hoya-hosted boxing clinic for young superstars at Gleason’s Gym. This gave the middleweight with movie-star looks some photo ops with tomorrow’s bruisers, but the real scoop came with the announcement that Bad Boy Paulie Malignaggi would now be repped by De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Proving he was not down for the count, Malignaggi told the crowd, “I still have some more left in me.”
De La Hoya then took the podium to bring the news full circle, reiterating that his deal with Bruce Ratner (specifically, 12 shows per year for three years) will bring boxing back to Brooklyn. (Video after the jump.)
“I feel that Brooklyn boxing deserves the opportunities to create great champions,” De La Hoya said. Indeed this is a concept not foreign to Brooklyn, home to not only Malignaggi but Zab Judah, Mike Tyson and way before them Al “Bummy” Davis and Jack McCullough. “We feel that today we can create the next stars of tomorrow for Brooklyn,” De La Hoya said, as young hopefuls jumped rope from the sidelines.
Will Brooklyn boxing draw more than the cigar-chomping old-timers like myself? Judging by the crush of paparazzi and the diamond-studded $$$ involved, I would say, “Freakin’ A right.” But only time will tell. Barclays Center is due to open in 2010, and the other special guest of the press conference, Bruce Ratner, said, “We are now again at the golden age of Brooklyn … now let’s prove that we are still the champions in sports.”
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