Thirty-one-year-old former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs), who signed with Golden Boy Promotions at the end of 2010, is reaping the benefits of being well-connected with a WBA-mandated title shot against welterweight titlist Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-0, 21 KOs).
Malignaggi, who has only fought two fights at the welterweight limit against unranked journeymen (Jose Miguel Cotto and Orlando Lora), has somehow found himself in the WBA’s No. 2 slot and will be getting his world title opportunity no later than 90 days after the organization’s Jan. 26 deadline for purse bids.
Senchenko, 34, has made three successful defenses of his title against marginal opposition since taking the belt from Yuriy Nuzhnenko in April 2009.
Of the two fighters, the Brooklyn native Malignaggi has the deeper resume, despite a tepid 3-2 mark in world title fights and one-sided recent beatings at the hands of Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton. The biggest career mark on the ledger of the Ukraine’s Senchenko is his title-winning effort against Nuzhnenko.