By Larry Fine

Khan, making his U.S. debut at Madison Square Garden, told reporters on Wednesday he was happy that the war of words with the challenger would be replaced by punches.

"I'm happy to fight him just to shut him up," Khan, 23, said. "I want to hurt him in the ring. I'm a nice guy, but every time I fight I hurt my opponents, that's just the way it is. We can be friends afterwards if he wants to be, but I don't think he'll want to be after the beating he's going to get."

Khan has a 22-1 record with 16 wins within the distance.

The 29-year-old Malignaggi, a former IBF junior welterweight champion, is 27-3 but the quick-footed fighter with the lightning jab has stopped only five opponents.

Malignaggi's taunts often sting harder than his punches, and the loquacious Brooklynite hurled a barrage of provocative tweets at the Briton this week.

In a message posted on Twitter directed at Khan, Malignaggi said "the strong survive in New York City, the lights shine bright here, so hopefully (he) don't fry under pressure."

Khan said he preferred to let his fists do the talking.

"I want to knock him out and send out a message to the 140 pounders that I can beat them all," he said.

The contrast between the boxers extended beyond their boxing styles.

Khan was dressed smartly for the Garden news conference in color-coordinated gray slacks, gray shoes, gray vest and a blue dress shirt. Malignaggi wore an oversized tee shirt, a black New York Yankees cap turned to the side and torn blue jeans.

"His manager said he wanted to come to the U.S. and fight the toughest competition. You know what they say bro, be careful what you wish for."

(Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)