Paulie in the Winner’s Circle

By Robert Ecksel on April 30, 2012
Paulie in the Winner’s Circle
Malignaggi's win guarantees him some nice paydays and the pleasure of silencing his critics


Sometimes it’s easier to disbelieve than to believe. Belief requires evidence, whereas disbelief is a reliable, if not always accurate, fallback position.

Former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs) made a believer out of many this weekend.

The Magic Man with the sometimes less-than-magical hands scored a ninth round TKO over WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KOs), in Ukraine no less, to win the WBA 147-lb. title.

The fact that Senchenko has fought no one of note and infrequently doesn’t in any way diminish Malignaggi’s accomplishment. Paulie didn’t exactly return from the dead, but near death might describe it.

After having lost three of his last eight fights, albeit to Ricky Hatton in 2008, Juan Diaz in 2009, and Amir Khan in 2010, Malignaggi won his last three fights and fought his way back into contention.

His superior hand speed and exemplary jab enabled the 31-year-old Brooklynite to make Senchenko look like an amateur. A small mouse under the Ukrainian’s left eye began to swell, and Paulie began to target the eye, as any professional would.

By the end of round eight the eye was closing fast. Referee Steve Smoger took a good hard look but let the fight continue.

At the start of ninth the eye was completely closed. Malignaggi, smelling blood, went for the kill and staggered Senchenko, who never saw the punch coming, with a big right hand.

Smoger jumped in and waved off the fight at 1:10.

Malignaggi landed 62% of his jabs and 38% of his power shots.

Paulie’s victory won’t necessarily shake up the welterweight division. But it guarantees him some nice paydays, not to mention the pleasure of silencing his critics.

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Vyacheslav Senchenko vs. Paul Malignaggi (2012) [FULL FIGHT]



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  1. mikecasey 06:27am, 05/01/2012

    Good win and good commitment by Paulie. I still think he could have risen much higher a few years back if he had dropped the ‘Mr New York’ act and spent more time honing his undoubted natural talent.

  2. Bob 06:56pm, 04/30/2012

    I’m so happy to see Paulie back on top. His new title was hard-earned and well-deserved.  Can’t wait to see him on his home turf in the fall. Great win, Paulie.

  3. the thresher 11:57am, 04/30/2012

    Great win

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