EXCLUSIVE: Bare-knuckle willing to pay, got my attention – Malignaggi
Two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi is still active in the sport of boxing, being a part of James DeGale’s team for his retirement fight with Chris Eubank Jr.
Still being an ambassador in the sport through Ultimate Boxxer, Malignaggi doesn’t ever seem likely to sever ties with his number one passion.
However, the most traction from Malignaggi’s name over the past few weeks has come from his decision to join BKFC. The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
New broke earlier this month that the American former world champion would return at a new angle.
The reality hit when Malignaggi was formally announced as a fully-fledged bare-knuckle boxer at the recent Ultimate Boxxer press conference.
WBN caught up with the Italian-American to gauge his views on how his stint without gloves will go.
“It’s just a concept you know, I didn’t really see myself doing it. I didn’t even see myself fighting again,” Malignaggi exclusively admitted to World Boxing News.
“But these sort of things work themselves out. When I met David Feldman he was a straight shooter, the president of the BKFC.
“He was a guy I could see was very goal orientated. He was a go-getter and was willing to pay for my services, so to speak.
“Once he got my attention with that, the finer details we got to work out.
“I started to see his vision of things. To appreciate his vision as well so it was something that came together, little by little and it picked up.”
The next move for Malignaggi was to offer former sparring partner Conor McGregor a deal to fight in the BKFC.
A super-fight Malignaggi can sink his teeth into and add even more BKFC exposure.
McGregor recently ‘retired from MMA’. Leaving the door firmly open for a clash with Malignaggi.
“Of course, you got to offer Conor enough money for him to become a piñata. That’s what he’s shown us. If you offer Conor enough money he’ll be your personal piñata. I think he’s shown that the last few years.
“BKFC have more money than people realize. I think they’re willing to offer him enough money to be as my personal piñata.
“It’s just a matter of does he have the guts to take the deal because there won’t be any more money offered to him anymore.
“The money there is more than what he is going to make in the UFC. But that’s including that it would be a good fight,” he concluded.
BT Sport will broadcast the Ultimate Boxxer series live on TV and YouTube, starting on Friday 10th May from The O2. Tickets available from http://www.ubxr.co/ub3-tickets
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller