By Bill Emes
WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi is not shocked by Ricky Hatton's ninth round knockout defeat to former beltholder Vyacheslav Senchenko last Saturday in Manchester. Earlier this year, Malignaggi stopped Senchenko to capture the WBA crown. If Hatton would have won the fight, the stage would have been set for a rematch with Malignaggi in 2013. Malignaggi was really looking forward to avenging his 2008 TKO defeat to Hatton, but now he won't get the opportunity. Hatton retired after his loss to Senchenko.
"Unfortunately most people didn't believe me. Unfortunately Ricky Hatton didn't believe me. There must be a reason that he was that stubborn in picking Senchenko as the opponent. He really thought that guy he beat four years ago was [the same guy] who knocked out Senchenko. It's a shame," Malignaggi said.
"Hatton really started to believe the hype and said 'oh Malignaggi knocked him out, imagine what I'll do to him.' He was lunging in with punches and he was convinced that he would knock him out but that didn't happen. Senchenko is a good fighter."
"I have no doubt that I would have beaten Ricky Hatton. I should have beaten him in 2008, but now I have to live with that [loss]. This would have given me a certain measure of revenge but now [it won't happen]. But I know, and no matter what anybody tells me, I was better than [Ricky Hatton]. And that kind of burns me, but now I have to live with that. But it is what it is."