Former professional boxer Paulie Malignaggi entered a new fighting dimension as he enters the later stages of his career, with the former world champion recently competing in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships in Florida.
The 38-year-old took on Russian MMA fighter, and Conor McGregor’s training partner, Artem Lobov and narrowly lost as the scorecard read 48-47.
However, Malignaggi sustained some critical injuries during the bout, with his infamously brittle hands suffering the most during this fight.
The former world champion shared some photos of his damaged hands via social media and remained adamant that, despite his injuries, he provided a difficult test to Lobov.
“I broke my hand in round 2,” Malignaggi stated.
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“I didn’t get an X-ray, but I’ve broken my hand enough times to know what it feels like.
“I landed a jab to the stomach, a right hand, one-two combination and the instant I landed it, I knew my hand had broken.
“I don’t know if I threw another right hand, but honestly, I didn’t need to because I was controlling the fight with my left hand.”
The Brooklyn-based fighter officially retired from boxing during the early months of 2017, following his defeat to Sam Eggington. The American boxer’s life after the sport has been somewhat varied from featuring in Conor McGregor’s training camp too, now, taking part in Bare Knuckle bouts.
On his recent career path, Malignaggi revealed his thoughts behind stepping into the bare knuckle ring with Lobov via social media.
“Many thought I was crazy for trying my hand at bare knuckle combat and while unfortunately I may not have been born with very durable hands, it is still an experience I get to look back on and say I lived it.
“People have always had very little expectations of me in my life but I can proudly say I’ve always fought my way to a better life. In life, we all have obstacles and I’ve always been driven most when faced with adversity. In the end, despite my brittle hands (four surgeries on my right hand), I have been able to accomplish more as mainly a 1 handed fighter than most fighters accomplish with 2 hands.
“And I did it with no shortcuts and having fought some amazing fighters, travelled to some amazing places and met some amazing people along the way.
“You always wonder if as you get older you still have the ability to dig down when things get tough.
“After 2 rounds Saturday night, I sat in my corner now knowing I would be a 1 handed fighter for the remainder of this fight and I am proud I continued on and showed myself I still had a willingness to dig deep when faced with adversity as I found myself once again in a familiar predicament of having a damaged hand with a determined opponent across the ring coming to rip my head off yet now I was competing in a new form of combat.
“I assure you it’s not an enviable position but I’m glad I stayed true to myself as a man and as a fighter in the moment and continued to fight despite having to obviously adjust my strategy.
“Respect to @rushammer who always shows up to fight and give his best no matter what day or place or at what weight and respect to him for the fight on Saturday. Obviously, I feel like I won the fight but that is in no way meant as a disrespect to him. I hope he can take the momentum he gained from this result and make plenty of money for himself and his family in his career.”
Nonetheless, according to Malignaggi, it appears that the curtains have finally come down on the American’s 18-year career.
Regarding his future, he said: “I’m done. I’m 38-years-old. I’m too old to start campaigning off of a loss.”