Malignaggi seeks a world title in a second weight class against Senchenko (Photo courtesy of Integrated Sports Media).
Former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Facing WBA Welterweight Champion Senchenko
After arriving in the Ukraine on Wednesday, former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs) is at the scene where he can make winning a second world title a reality. The Brooklyn native held his training camp for a clash with WBA Welterweight Champion Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-0, 21 KOs) in Milan, and he is now all set for the aforementioned bout that will be held at Donboss Arena in Donetsk at 1:00 p.m. EST this Sunday.
"I think it's great because American fans don't always get an opportunity like this to see fights held overseas," Malignaggi said of the bout, which will be available for live PPV screening on cable, satellite and online platforms in the United States. "This is a high-level fight and not expensive pay-per-view. My fans will be able to watch.”
Malignaggi last fought in October when he took on Orlando Lora in the opening bout of a PPV telecast that featured Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson in the main event. He out-boxed the Mexican welterweight to win via unanimous decision in convincing fashion, making him unbeaten in three fights at his new division. He has also defeated Jose Miguel Cotto and Michael Lozada since bumping up in weight class, and the combined record of his opposition at welterweight is 128-9-3.
"This is a good style match-up,” Malignaggi remarked. “Fans will see what Paulie Malignaggi has left and if Senchenko is for real. No matter which way you look at it, fans can get together as a group to watch, or order it individually at home. Boxing fans want to see world title fights, and this one they'll see me beat Senchenko."
Malignaggi became the IBF World Junior Welterweight Champion when he defeated Lovemore N'dou in a 12-round unanimous decision in June of 2007. He successfully made his first title defense the following January by taking a unanimous decision over Herman Ngoudjo and then again defeated N’dou in May of 2007. The Brooklyn resident vacated his title in September of 2008 to fight then IBO Light Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton in the main event of a November HBO card in Las Vegas, suffering a loss to the British titleholder. Next on tap was a two-bout series with Juan Diaz that ended with a convincing decision win in Chicago, and Malignaggi then put up a valiant effort in a defeat to Amir Khan in May of 2010 at Madison Square Garden, his last outing as a junior welterweight.
Since fighting for his native Ukraine in the 2000 Olympic Games, Senchenko is unbeaten in 32 professional bouts, with virtually every bout occurring on his home soil. He became the WBA Welterweight Champion when he decisioned Yuriy Nuzhnenko in 2009 and has successfully defended his title three times since that victory.