Malignaggi traveled all the way to the Ukraine to earn the WBA crown (Photo courtesy of Integrated Sports Media).
Brooklyn Native Rolls Over Vyacheslav Senchenko to Earn WBA Welterweight Title
Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs) put on an absolute boxing clinic on Sunday in the Ukraine, pounding the left eye of Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KOs) to a stoppage win in the ninth round. The victory made the Brooklyn native the new WBA Welterweight Champion, now making him a two-division world title winner.
From the opening bell, Malignaggi came out looking as fresh and crisp as ever, firing off a lightning fast jab and moving very fluidly. Senchenko was having an extremely hard time figuring out the speed of Malignaggi, who used slick head and foot movement to make himself a virtually unhittable target. In the second frame, the native New Yorker continued to be very active and started taking advantage of each opening he found by tossing off good combination work. He still remained very active with the jab as well, and the left eye of his opposition was already showing damage from the abuse.
Senchenko made an attempt to apply more pressure in the third round, but Malignaggi persisted with his game plan and steadily outboxed him. Over the course of the next few frames, the left eye of Senchenko also grew increasingly worse as Malignaggi repeatedly struck that target with absolute precision. The defending champion was already having serious problems finding his challenger when he had the benefit of both eyes, and he had virtually no chance of turning the tide as that left eye began to close all the way shut. The blood around the area was pouring down his face by the conclusion of the sixth round as well.
When the eighth frame came around, desperation hit Senchenko because he knew his eye was not going to make it the distance. Malignaggi, who was basically unmarked, worked circles around the aggression of his opposition, firing off combinations with ease after dipping under his advances. Prior to the start of the ninth round, referee Steve Smoger had the doctors take a good look at the eye of Senchenko, but he was allowed to continue. However, the restart would be short-lived.
Malignaggi continued to put on his clinic when the ninth frame got underway, and Senchenko simply was not in the fight anymore. The Brooklyn resident was not getting touched, and he was throwing punches at will. Finally having seen enough, Smoger stepped in and ended the bout at the midway point of the frame.
With the win, Malignaggi has now secured a world title in a second weight class. The former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion moved up to the welterweight division in 2010 and has not lost a single fight in his new weight class.