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Can Malignaggi defeat Senchenko in Ukraine? Ask the experts
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Vyacheslav Senchenko SD 12 Paulie Malignaggi: Paulie Malignaggi, who warned he would lose in 2009 to Juan Diaz in Houston, couldn’t win in Texas. It might be harder to win in the Ukraine, even with Steve Smoger as the referee.
The unbeaten Vyacheslav Senchenko, a native Ukrainian, has fought 29 of his 32 bouts in his home country. Malignaggi is clever enough to take him out of his comfort zone. But Senchenko has a quick jab that could score just enough points for a decision that might be controversial. Senchenko, split-decision.
Vyacheslav Senchenko W 12 Paulie Malignaggi: For Vyacheslav Senchenko, Paulie Malignaggi has the deepest world-class pedigree of any opponent thus far. Also, "The Magic Man" still has the quickness of hand and foot and the ability to make any fighter look horrible. That's the good news for the New Yorker.
Also, Senchenko is undefeated, he's the defending champion, he's fighting at home and he enjoys the familiarity of the arena because he's had his last two fights there. Therefore he's going to be comfortable in every conceivable way, and psychologically that works to his advantage. There are too many factors working against Malignaggi here, but his toughness and class will see him through to the final bell.
I don't know much about Vyacheslav Senchenko, except that he trains with Freddie Roach. With that being said, I'm leaning toward Senchenko to win a close unanimous decision. But I want Paulie to bring it home.
Vyacheslav Senchenko UD 12 Paulie Malignaggi: Paulie Malignaggi is four years younger and much more proven against top opposition. But he'd probably need a knockout to get a draw in Donetsk, Ukraine, Vyacheslav Senchenko's hometown.
"The Magic Man" deserves credit for fighting there after what happened to him in Texas against Juan Diaz, but his lack of power probably will cost him in this 12-rounder for Senchenko's WBA welterweight title. Vyacheslav Senchenko by unanimous decision.
Vyacheslav Senchenko W 12 Paulie Malignaggi: I like Vyacheslav Senchenko. He's simply too big and he's the more natural welterweight. Also, in my opinion, no way he can lose a decision in this jurisdiction to Paulie Malignaggi.
Vyacheslav Senchenko W 12 Paulie Malignaggi: Paulie Malignaggi will box well, but it won't be enough to leave Ukraine with that belt. Vyacheslave Senchenko by decision.
Vyacheslav Senchenko UD12 Paulie Malgnaggi: Vyacheslav Senchenko is a steady, solid pro who U.S. fans may never get to know. Paulie Malignaggi will this weekend, and should give him a good go.
I see a fight where many rounds are tough to score and, being the visiting team, I don't see those going Paulie's way. Look for Senchenko to get the nod (and don't be surprised if there's some debate afterwards).
Paulie Malignaggi UD 12 Senchenko: I'm going to go with a hunch and pick Paulie Malignaggi over Vyacheslav Senchenko. The Ukrainian is a very good boxer with more power than Malignaggi.
But he has far less experience than Malignaggi in big fights, and he has never fought outside of Europe. Malignaggi by a unanimous decision if he can get a fair shake in Ukraine.
Vyacheslav Senchenko W 12 Paulie Malignaggi: Vyacheslav Senchenko-Paulie Malignaggi has distance written all over it. Neutral judges give Malignaggi a shot, but it's hard to pick against Senchenko in his hometown by decision.
Photo by Integrated Sports
Photo by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Photo by Integrated Sports
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com