By Jake Donovan
The way it’s being told from his camp, you’d think unbeaten welterweight titlist Vyachaslev Senchenko just scored the biggest victory of his career.
Union Boxing, Senchenko’s promoter, scored a huge victory outside the ring when the European promotional outfit won the rights to host a welterweight title fight between their guy and former 140 lb. titlist Paul Malignaggi as per the results of a purse bid held Thursday.
The winning bid of $1,000,100 was more than four times the amount of the bid placed by Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes Malignaggi. A discussion earlier in the week suggested that Golden Boy would do everything within its power to ensure that either their company wins the bid or that Malignaggi is properly compensated in the event someone offers more.
Senchenko’s handlers offered massively more, as they had every intention of promoting this fight as far back as when it was first suggested late last year.
“For us it was important to beat the opponent’s bid so that in the future we can dictate the basic terms of the future battle,” stated Yuri Raban, president of Union Boxing Promotions. “We managed to do that, and now the fight for the championship will be held in our territory with our fans’ support. The Senchenko-Malignaggi fight will be a real gem of the upcoming tournament in April.”
Should the fight occur, it will take place at Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine. The venue served as the host for Senchenko’s last title defense, a 6th round knockout of fringe contender Marco Antonio Avendano last August. Plans call for the showdown with Malignaggi to take place at the end of April.
There’s only one problem – there stands a good chance that the American won’t bother to make the trip overseas.
Unofficially recognized as “Twitter King” by his legions of followers (complete with #TK mark included in his tweets for trending purposes), Malignaggi casually stated on the social networking site that his future is uncertain. There is hesitation in traveling to the Ukraine for the fight, but it has not yet been officially ruled out, other than his expressing disappointment in the fight not taking place in the US.
Malignaggi (30-4, 6KO) has won his last three fights since signing with Golden Boy Promotions in late 2010. His most recent ring appearance was a 10-round points win over Orlando Lora last October, for which he officially earned $75,000.
Senchenko (32-0, 21KO) hasn’t fought since his aforementioned defense against Avendano last August. Ring activity has been an issue for the unbeaten Ukrainian, who has fought just once in each of the past two seasons.
Plans were in place for Senchenko to defend his belt last December against unbeaten Brad Solomon in the Ukraine. The fight fell through due to in-house disputes within Solomon’s team, causing the American contender to walk away from what would’ve been far and away his career best payday.
Messages left for Malignaggi and Golden Boy Promotions went unreturned.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]