The biggest fight right now is bare knuckle. How did we get here?

You may have seen the promos on TV or in Facebook ads but Bare Knuckle FC is the new kid on the block and only 6 shows in, the promotion is taking the combat sports world by storm.

The biggest fight in the young history of this catapulting organization, isn’t between two bar room brawlers from West Virginia. No, it’s between an experienced journeyman mixed martial artist and an acclaimed boxer who at points of time in his career, had 2 world titles attached to his name.

Yes, it’s Brooklyn boxer, king of the guidos, former world titlist, Paulie Malignaggi against a UFC alum, the Russian born and Ireland residing, Artem Lobov.

Holy 2000! This was actually one of Paulie’s old hair styles.

Malignaggi has made good money in his career, has no apparent signs of post career financial distress, and has a good job at the Showtime Network doing some of the best boxing commentary today.

So why is he fighting for presumably much less money than the paydays he was used to in the latter part of his career, albeit with higher risk to body and to self image?

Let’s call this what it is. It’s a proxy war.

Do you remember a guy called Conor McGregor?

Remember that $100 PPV in the sport of boxing you got bamboozled into buying?

We’ll I guess you could say that Paulie Malignaggi vs. Artem Lobov is a ripple effect from that.

Artem Lobov lives in Ireland, remember, and is an MMA guy. Oh ya, I should mention, McGregor and Lobov are lads.

Aug 3, 2017 – Paulie Malignaggi announces he is going to leave McGregor’s camp amid controversy and embarrasment surrounding a sparring photo leaked that showed the Brooklyn fighter on the canvas with McGregor standing over him.

Things got nasty after this photo came out. Later videos came out.

April 2, 2019 – In a sort of preamble to the eventual match up between the two, Malignaggi shows up at a gym/media event. Heated shouting match. Slaps him.

Paulie wants to fight Artem next, “Don’t F*** around and get beat on Saturday don’t mess this up.” Wants Lobov to pay for leaking sparring videos.

April 6, 2019 – Artem Lobov defeats Jason Knight in a bare knuckle fight hosted by the promotion Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Lobov, a UFC veteran is one of the larger known signed fighters in this young organization’s stable. The fight between these two was an absolute blood bath and brought a lot of attention to the new organization.

Lobov, right, delivers a nasty right hand to Knight’s face

Artem Lobov beats Jason Knight and in a quick turn around the Malignaggi fight is booked.

May 20, 2019 – In a heated face off Paulie ends up spitting on Lobov.

Uh these guys HATE each other by the way.

BKFC has done many a good promo cut for this fight and you should check them out on YouTube if you are interested at this point yet.

Today Paulie still maintains that McGregor fabricated having dropped Paulie, and that it was a slippage. “Fraudulently painting the picture.”

June 20, 2019 – The day before the weigh in at a press event, “I expect to cut him, I want his face to peel off” says Paulie when asked about the risks of cuts in the bare knuckle game. “I like money, but it’s an opportunity to beat up someone I don’t like” when asked what he was doing this fight for.

And I think he answered the question right there. He’s still got plenty of money. This one isn’t about money.

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