By: Hans Themistode
The night started off a bit wacky. Former NBA star Lamar Odom and singer/songwriter Aaron Carter faced each other in a boxing ring in Atlantic City, New Jersey this past Friday night. Calling their three-round affair ringside was former multiple-time champion, Paulie Malignaggi. Unsurprisingly, Odom, who held a 10-inch height advantage, knocked Carter out in the second round.
As the night, which was hosted by Celebrity Boxing, came to a close, Malignaggi appeared to be wrapping up his duties. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Corey Bonalewicz, a US radio personality and social media star who currently has 6.8 million followers on Tik Tok, 611 hundred thousand on Instagram and generally goes by the name Corey B, came up behind Malignaggi with a pile of chalk in his hand and proceeded to smack him in the back of the head and neck.
At first, the attack appeared to be unprovoked but now, after sitting down with BoxingInsider.com to explain his side of the story, Corey actually says it was Malignaggi who started the entire back and forth.
“So the reason for the beef in the first place was I’ve been boxing to stay in shape,” said Corey during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “With all of this YouTuber boxing stuff happening, I said let me get involved. So I been training for a little while now and I was talking on the radio saying I’m excited about training and whatnot. Then all of a sudden I get a call from Paulie. He says he’s tired of us YouTubers and Tik Tokers trying to fight. He said how I’m a bum and bad for the sport and this and that. Then we went back and forth from there. What he said was, if he ever met me in person, I wouldn’t be man enough to see him face to face.”
While Corey asserts that he wanted to prove Malignaggi wrong by confronting him, he claims that his attack on Malignaggi wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. The social media star knew for quite some time that Malignaggi would be in attendance on the night and began plotting his master plan.
“It was premeditated,” explained Corey. “I had my morning show producer there and I knew it was going to happen. Malignaggi was the only one who didn’t know.”
Ultimately, Corey isn’t interested in going back and forth with Malignaggi just for fun. His eventual end game is to get the former world champion in the ring. With the second installment of Celebrity Boxing set to take place in the fall, Corey B already has a spot on the card. However, he doesn’t have an opponent just yet. If it were up to him, he would lure Malignaggi out of retirement to take him on.
“Absolutely,” said Corey when asked if he wants to face Malignaggi in the ring. “I know celebrity boxing is trying to reach out to him. I got a contract that I signed, I’m fighting October 10th and there still looking for someone for me to fight and it could be him. I think he’s down, he’s been talking about me for a while now.”
Malignaggi, 40, who held world titles in two weight classes, was last seen in the boxing ring in March of 2017, losing via eighth-round stoppage to Sam Eggington. Although Malignaggi would retire soon after, he would have somewhat of a change of heart. While he didn’t enter a traditional boxing ring, Malignaggi signed up to take on MMA fighter Artem Lobov in a Bare Knuckle Boxing match in March of 2019. Despite being the heavy favorite, Malignaggi would go on to lose via unanimous decision.
If a showdown between Corey B, who says he’s been training for five months now, and Malignaggi were to come to fruition, the social media star figures to be a significant underdog. Considering Malignaggi’s last few forays into the ring, however, Corey believes that all of the chips are currently stacked in his favor.
“I saw his last six fights. Can I take him? He has one arm. It’ll be like fighting Captain Hook. He’s taken a lot of punches. I’ve got all the footage on him and he has no footage on me so everything is in my favor.”
In the end, Corey B has an issue with Malignaggi attacking him on a personal level for taking up boxing. He also doesn’t appreciate those who consider him solely a social media personality. While he may not be the most skilled boxer in the world, Corey is giving it everything he has in training.
In terms of what he actually wants to accomplish in the sport, Corey looks at social media stars turned de-facto boxers Logan and Jake Paul, who have gone on to take part in some of the biggest boxing shows in recent history. In no way shape, or form does Corey want to disrespect the boxing community, he simply wants to try his hand at a sport he’s loved his entire life.
“Tik Tok does not define me,” explained Corey. “It’s how I make money but I can be much more than that. I give it to the Paul’s, they work every day. They’re not going to be the best but they’re making a name for themselves. Am I going to be the best? No, but I can be good and just continue to work hard. I’m motivated, dedicated and working hard. I’m not trying to put a smudge on boxing, I’ve been a boxing fan my whole life.”
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