Paul Malignaggi beat previously undefeated boxer Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko in the ninth round to take the World Boxing Association’s Welterweight title on Sunday. Malignaggi won by technical knockout.
The referee had to stop the fight in the ninth round after Malignaggi pounded the left side of Senchenko’s face until his eye swelled completely shut, though the Ukrainian fighter’s face was showing signs of bruising much earlier, according to ESPN.
The event took place in Donetsk, Ukraine. Senchenko, who rarely fights outside of his home turf, struggled with Malignaggi’s style and speed. The smaller Malignaggi moved that much quicker than Senchenko. Senchenko was able to get a few good punches in, but Malignaggi was relentless.
Malignaggi was a former IBF light-welterweight champion before losing to Amir Khan on May 15, 2010.
The Bensonhurst boxer never stopped shooting punches at his bigger opponent. Even though he was initially reluctant to fight abroad, at the arena he was confident.
Malignaggi’s is often called a slickster. He punches mainly from his hips, which is only effective if the boxer has accurate coordination and lightning hand speed, according to his Wikipedia page.
Something about this win has a Rocky, Cold War feel. Thanks for bringing this one home, Magic Man.