Paulie pounds his way to victory
Paulie Malignaggi stopped Vyacheslav Senchenko in the ninth round in Donetsk on Sunday to take over the WBA welterweight title.
The American, a former junior welterweight champion, won the fight in the Ukraine city when the referee, Steve Smoger, stepped in a minute and 14 seconds into the round.
The 31-year-old Malignaggi had scored with so many rights to the head that Senchenko’s left eye was swollen almost shut.
Malignaggi’s record improved to 31-4, including only 7 knockouts. The previously undefeated Ukrainian, 35 years old, dropped to 32-1.
A sparse crowd attended the tournament at the Donbass Arena.
Senchenko has not fought outside Ukraine for more than five years. He struggled against Malignaggi's speed from the opening round.
The New Yorker was able to move in and out, firing rapid punches while avoiding the slower, taller Ukrainian's strikes. A solid right to the head convinced the referee to stop the fight.
Malignaggi will probably take a break before making his first defence of the belt in New York in October.