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The Mouth That Roared: Bensonhurst’s Malignaggi Wins Welterweight Crown in Ukraine

By John Torenli

From Bensonhurst to Donetsk and back, Paulie Malignaggi never stopped talking, tweeting or punching.

The always-animated Brooklyn-born-and-bred pugilist stopped previously unbeaten Ukrainian welterweight Vyacheslav Senchenko in the ninth round Sunday to take the WBA title, setting up a potential defense of his new crown at Downtown’s Barclays Center later this year.

The 31-year-old Malignaggi heard plenty of criticism regarding his light-punching style in the weeks leading up to the bout, but he pounded the left side of his opponent’s face so bad that the TKO stoppage was forced only 1:10 into the ninth round.

“Call me feather-fist now!” Malignaggi boasted via Twitter, moments after capturing his second major world title — he also won the junior welterweight belt from Lovemore N’dou five years ago.  

His seventh career knockout and 31st win in 35 pro bouts also propelled Malignaggi back into contention for bigger, and more lucrative, fights in the future.  

The always-stylish and loquacious boxer, who has a career waiting for him ringside as an announcer once he hangs up the gloves, is determined to bring his belt back to Brooklyn for an October bout at the Nets’ new home on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

“I want my first title defense to be at the Barclays Center on opening night,” Malignaggi said.

May 2, 2012 - 12:15pm


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