Paulie Malignaggi suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Artem Lobov at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 last week, and the backlash was inevitable. One can only imagine the levels of trolling and harassment Malignaggi has had to endure in the aftermath of the bout, but what has bothered him most are prominent figures of the MMA community who consider Malignaggi’s loss to be an indictment on the sport of boxing. Comments from two of the MMA community’s most outspoken individuals prompted Malignaggi to issue the following challenge: if boxing is so easy, knock yourself out:
“Literally, if you listen to any of their analysis, you got Chael Sonnen talking about how boxing is not a sport, this guy just walked in and beat me. Chael, cuz, you not that old, bro. Go and do it. Go and do it, bro. Go and do it. Go fight any light heavyweight in the world,” Malignaggi told Counter Punch Boxing. “Ben Askren, the same shit. I did it with one hand. I did it with half a hand. And I did it bare knuckle. Go and do it. Go put on gloves if it’s not that hard.
“Because you know we make more than you guys. You know we get paid more than you. You know that already. So come in. Come and do it, cuz! It’s that easy? Go make your money!”
Paulie Malignaggi and Chael Sonnen have one thing in common: they both have officially retired from combat sports. Malignaggi had already retired from professional boxing prior to his bare knuckle fight against Artem Lobov, and he has no plans to ever fight bare knuckle again. Chael Sonnen competed for the final time at Bellator 222 in a TKO loss to Lyoto Machida. As for Ben Askren, he will be in a fight this weekend against someone who has some bare knuckle experience in his own right: Jorge “Gambred” Masvidal at UFC 239.
What do you make of Paulie Malignaggi’s “challenge” to Chael Sonnen and Ben Askren?