Freddie Roach feels Vyacheslav Senchenko's jab could be a deciding factor against Paulie Malignaggi. (Photo by Miguel Salazar)
On April 29 in Donetsk, Ukraine, former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi will travel in hopes of picking up a world title in a second weight class, as he faces WBA titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko, one of Freddie Roach's "lesser" clients, but an undefeated pro fighter and the favorite in the fight, which will be televised in the U.S. by Integrated Sports PPV.
Here are some quotes from Roach on the fight.
On Senchenko's best qualities:
"Senchenko is a very, very good boxer with good technique. He has good height and a good punch. He had a great amateur background. The Ukraine has the No. 1 program in the world this year. It has a very good program and Senchenko is very well schooled. His jab is his best weapon and I think that will be the difference in this fight. He has a faster jab than Malignaggi and it should control the fight."
How and why Senchenko will win:
"I think Senchenko's boxing ability will enable him to out-score Paulie to win a decision. Paulie is very game. He'll bring the fight and make it exciting. Going to the Ukraine is not like going into hostile territory. The promoter (Yuri Ruban, Union Boxing) over there is very fair. One time I had a fighter from there - I thought he won - but he lost a decision at home. There will be neutral judges and the winner will be the real winner."
On his respect for Malignaggi:
"Paulie has a lot of heart. He always tries to win and gives 100 percent. He came to my gym after he lost to Amir Khan - my fighter - but I didn't have time to work with him. One of my best trainers, Eric Brown, is training Paulie. It wouldn't have been fair for me to watch Paulie train here to a fight a guy I train. A decision was made by all of is that it would be better if Paulie didn't train here. Paulie's getting ready for this fight at home (New York City but he recently shifted training camp to Milan, Italy). There were no bad words or feelings. Paulie's a nice kid. He speaks his mind and I like people like that."
On Malignaggi being trained by Eric Brown, one of Roach's assistants:
"It's a little unusual but it does happen. I may have a similar situation if (Julio Cesar) Chavez (Jr) fights Vanes (Martirosyan). I train and like both of them. It's not fair. ... Maybe I'll stay at home. There's been talk of Amir fighting Manny (Pacquiao) someday. I don't think it'll happen; they respect each other so much, but business is business."