Paulie Malignaggi deserves some credit for stepping out of his comfort zone of traditional boxing and into the world of bare-knuckle boxing with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). Striking styles evolve with every combat sport and that is something Malignaggi has noticed in his time as a fighter and analyst. During his media day in New York City before BKFC 5, Malignaggi talked about what brought him to the decision return to action in this new territory of combat sports and was well aware of why he and Lobov were occupying the same space on Tuesday.
However it was never about “boxing versus MMA” for Malignaggi as combat sports has always been about respect for him. Given the growth the BKFC has had since it began, Malignaggi believes him signing on can bring more eyes over from the boxing side of combat sports given the success he has found in the sport. “I started talking to David Feldman first about being involved on the broadcast aspect of BKFC,” said Malignaggi. “But then he threw out numbers for me to fight that got my attention. Once we got past that first part of the conversation, things started moving along and here we are.”
When asked about how he will adjust what he has known to what happens in the BKFC, Malignaggi said, “There’s always adjustments to be made in a new discipline as far as how you’re going to throw and receive punches. We’re going to make small adjustments, but your base is your base. My base is boxing and we’re going to keep the things we want to keep.” He also said he noticed some “fundamental differences”, in the BKFC fights he has seen and said, “There are some things that boxers can take advantage of. But there are also some aspects that boxers might not be used to in bare-knuckle.”
Malignaggi is supposed to make his BKFC this summer, likely in June and could face the winner of BKFC 5’s main event. After the scuffle that happened between he and Lobov after he addressed the media, Malignaggi said he would like Lobov to win Saturday so they can settle their differences professionally.