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Sunday, April 29, 2012
Malignaggi beats Senchenko, wins WBA welter title

By Michael Woods

They call boxing the theater of the unexpected. They could also call the sport the circus of the expected, as in, fight fans expect the judges to screw things up a goodly portion of the time.

Fans of Brooklyn-bred Paulie Malignaggi had to have that in mind as they watched the slick pugilist put on a tutorial of how to get it done, against hometowner Vyacheslav Senchenko,  when you are extremely limited by a severe lack of pop. But that all went out the window when the ex junior welter champ did something that he just about never does; Malignaggi (age 31; now 31-4; has just seven stoppages since turning pro  in 2001; has hands held together with chewing gum and thumbtacks) became a two-division champion when he stopped Senchenko (age 35; now 32-1) in round nine, to win the WBA welterweight title.

The Twitter Hitter had Senechenko's left eye a mess, and ref Steve Smoger halted the tussle, which unfolded in Donetsk, and ran on pay-per-view.

"I did it" came the Tweet from the account of the Twitter King aka #TK right after the victory.

Senchenko's resume isn't a who's who, but this feat cannot be diminished. Many thought Malignaggi was all done when he was stopped by Amir Khan two years ago. He showed doubters that theory was nothing but hogwash in the Ukraine, and can now secure a fat payday against a big-name foe. Expect Paulie to return triumphant and headline at the Barclays Center in the fall...