Malignaggi Stops Senchenko to Win WBA Welterweight Belt

April 29, 2012

Paulie Malignaggi stopped previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Senchenko in the ninth round to win the WBA world welterweight championship on Sunday at the Donbass Arena in Senchenko's hometown of Donetsk, Ukraine.

"This is the happiest day of my life," said an elated Malignaggi from his dressing room in Donetsk. "I trained really hard for this fight and believed in myself. I don't care what anyone says, I'm a two-division world champion. This is exactly why I signed with Golden Boy. I'm ready to fight any welterweight in the world."

Malignaggi took the initiative from the outset, firing pinpoint punches and using his speed advantage to cause swelling in Senchenko's left eye.

As Malignaggi continued to dominate the ensuing rounds, the swelling in Senchenko's eye increased. With Senchenko's vision impaired, referee Steve Smoger deemed Senchenko unable to continue due to a grotesquely swollen left eye.

With the win, the 31-year old Malignaggi, now 31-4 with 7 knockouts, becomes a two-time and two division world champion, having previously held the IBF junior welterweight crown from 2007 to 2008.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and wire reports

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