Paging John L: Paulie Malignaggi To Take Up Bare Knuckle Fighting
By: Sean Crose
There’s old school fighters, and then there’s really old school fighters. Brooklyn’s own Paulie Malignaggi is now a really old school fighter. For the retired two division belt holder has signed on with an organization called the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, the nature of whose business can be found in its very name – bare knuckle fighting. The 36-8 Malignaggi last laced up the gloves for a professional fight in 2017 when he was stopped by Sam Eggington in England. He’ll be fighting again this year, however, just without the gloves. The date of Malignaggi’s first bare knuckle brawl has yet to be announced. Malignaggi, one of the sport’s more colorful individuals, is 38 years of age.
Bare knuckle boxing once dominated the landscape. Figures like John L Sullivan ruled the sporting scene of the late 1800s by engaging in grueling affairs like Sullivan’s seventy-plus round brawl with Jake Kilrain in 1889. After Sullivan was met and bested in September of 1892 by a younger, slicker James J Corbett, in the first heavyweight gloved fight, the bareknuckle era found itself down for the count. Until, apparently, now. Should he prove successful in this endeavor, Malignaggi will arguably be the first well known bare knuckle brawler since Benjamin Harrison was President of the United States. Word has yet to arrive as to whether or not Malignaggi will begin sporting a handlebar moustache.
Best known as a top fighter who prowled the welterweight and junior welterweight divisions, Malignaggi won the IBF junior welterweight title and the WBA welterweight title, respectively. Throughout this ring career, Malignaggi faced off against a who’s who of big name competition. Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Zab Judah were all Malignaggi opponents at one time or other.
Malignaggi has fairly recently earned a reputation as a top level broadcaster for Showtime Boxing and Britain’s Sky Sports, where his in-depth, experienced knowledge of the fight game, coupled with his fast talking, intelligent style have made him a popular figure. Malignaggi engaged in a highly publicized feud with Conor McGregor in 2017 after he agreed to help train the Irishman for his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, only to find video footage of himself appearing in a less than flattering light made public by McGregor’s team. Since that time, Malignaggi has largely stuck to broadcasting fights, though he recently could be seen working in James DeGale’s corner during the super middleweight’s bout against Chris Eubank Jr.
Bare Knuckle Boxing and BKB Promotions
by Dylan Smith
Tough guys can be Gentle men. Fighters can be athletes. There is skill and art amongst the brutality and blood.
This is the new sport of the original form of fighting. Bare Knuckle Boxing. Jim Freeman, the promoter of BKB, has had a fight on his hands which he is winning. By getting legal sport status for bare knuckle boxing. Speaking to him in a recent interview I witnessed his passion, care and dedication towards the sport and the fighters. His focus is on bringing a more scientific approach to the sport. To make fair fights through match making and same day weigh-ins to try and prevent harsh weight cuts. Fighters in boxing and mma historically have and currently do put their bodies through harsh weight cuts and dehydrate themselves which vastly increase the risk of injuries in the fights.
BKB returns to the 02 arena on 30th of March 2019 for the current middleweight prize fight competition. The semi final stage will see the 4 fighters battle it out to win the competition and the £10,000.
Conor Tierney vs Ricardo Franco
Connor Tierney is an experienced amateur boxer with 45 fights. Only 24 years old, he won his only fight in BKB and has high hopes of more success. He is confident BKB is going to take off in a similar way to the UFC in it’s recent growth in popularity. He even hopes to see the promotion take place in his home town of Birmingham at the Barclaycard Arena (formerly NIA). Connor likes the fast pace of the fights and the atmosphere of the crowds and would recommend people to experience bare knuckle boxing for themselves. With a full time job as a Quantity Surveyor and a family at home he is working hard at his career in BKB. Eating healthy and exercising before and after work his dedication is testament to the professionalism of him and the other fighters in the competition. With no animosity towards his opponent he conducts himself like a gentleman outside of the ring. While in the ring however he is determined to win and wants to put on an entertaining show for the crowds.
Ricardo Franco is 3 – 0 in BKB. He trains out of AVT gym in Leeds with trainer Danny Mitchell who is a former UFC fighter. Starting off his combat career in amateur boxing he switched to MMA and had 10 professional fights. His style is self professed as awkward and proclaims suits bare knuckle boxing. A knockout artist with stunning finishes in MMA and bare knuckle boxing he is an exciting fighter.
He keeps his range and picks his shots, skilfully hurts his opponents and uses his jab like a sniper. Using his speed and not absorbing much damage he sees himself going on to win the competition. With his Partner and 2 dogs at home, his brother Mateus in the corner he is a family man. He’s focussed on his goal and thinks that his true toughness and mental strength will be shown in his next fight.
This is going to be an exciting fast paced fight. Both Franco and Tierney having quick hands and big hearts, coupled together with slick skills and awkward movements. Establishing the jab will be the key to success as both fighters have lightning speed and move fast in and out of range.
Dean ‘Smudger’ Smith vs James Connelly
Dean ‘Smudger’ Smith has a record of 2-1 in BKB. He sees his entry into the bare knuckle boxing world has come at the perfect time as the promotion is up and coming fast, no longer in hay bails and is selling out big rooms like the 02. He joined his brother in the army at 17 where he found he had a talent for scrapping and was entered into the battalion boxing team. His heart getting him through fights more so than skill. Already demonstrating his heart and toughness in his 3 fights in BKB as he smiles through punches and bounces back up to his feet when knocked down. With his grit and determination he carried on through a bad cut in his fight against BKB British title holder Kris Tresize until it was stopped by the referee. Boxing above his natural weight of 64kg he is one of the smallest of the fighters. It doesn’t phase the smiling man from Leeds however as he uses that to his advantage by slipping underneath the jab to fight on the inside. He has adapted his style to be more patient and vary his shots to the body and head. The only fighter who has gone 5 rounds and being in the trenches with his previous opponents he believes he has an edge over James Connelly. When he got the call to fight for BKB he celebrated with his friends but got straight to training. Fighting out of the Golden gym in Leeds he is dedicated and working hard to become the victor of the pugilist prizefighter tournament.
James Connelly 1-1 lost his last fight against Dan Chapman. However due to sustaining an eye injury Dan Chapman could not continue to the semi final round. James is glad he has a second chance in the competition. Having many ups and downs in his life He has managed to turn his life around. With 84 amateur boxing matches and wining the English title twice he has plenty of training which he’s showcased in his 2 fights with BKB. He has great respect for boxing and sees bare knuckle boxing as a different sport. Getting hit with bare knuckles is a completely different feeling to being hit with gloves. Working a full time job in construction, you will find him doing pull ups and training even in his break time. A self confessed ‘gym rat’ he feels like he has found his purpose in life which is fighting and went on to say ‘everyone needs a purpose in life’. He is fully involved in his career after a whirlwind of sequential events ended him in the prizefight competition. He is a seriously dedicated and focussed fighter and now has a reason to train hard. His movement and style is unique and has fluent movement with great footwork. A real character and looks the part with his powerful physique. ‘It’s boxing rules without any gloves on and it’s legal’ James Connelly.
The mixture of styles, Connelly being a rangy slick sniper and Smith being a tough forceful inside fighter will be a great match up. Both tough, both tested and both have great character. ‘The key in this fight is to hit and not get hit, it’s as simple as that’. However with both fighters as skilful and as game as they are we are sure to witness their lion hearts, strong wills and willingness to battle on to achieve their goals in being victorious.
These fighters are the pioneers of the new legal sport of Bare Knuckle Boxing. Making history and creating a pathway for their own legacy’s and the legacy of the sport of Bare Knuckle Boxing and BKB promotions. Making waves in the combat sports world it is a new sport with a new breed of fighter. Exciting times! Tickets are now available for the upcoming event on the 30th of March 2019 at the 02 indigo in London by BKB Promotions.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Conwell, Bare Knuckle Fighting, Usyk, Gassiev, Munguia, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 10th to July 17th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Usyk and Gassiev Touch Down in Moscow for Historic Final
Murat Gassiev and Aleksandr Usyk arrived Monday evening in Moscow ahead of the Cruiserweight Ali Trophy Final on July 21 at the Olympic Sports Complex.
“I am looking forward to the final. A final that will bring out the best in boxing. I can’t wait to see my fans in Moscow,” said Usyk.
Gassiev: “I’m in Russia one week before the fight. I’ve never had problems with the acclimatization. Jet-lag is also not a problem. A good nap during the flight and I’m ready to box at the airport. As always I expect a tough fight. I have to be ready for everything and adjust.”
Tickets are still available through official channels for one of the most anticipated fights of the decade, one of the most exciting boxing events in history, with 10.000 being sold up to now and 20.000 spectators expected.
“The exciting build-up for the first Ali Trophy Final ever is entering its most exciting phase,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is the moment we have been waiting for.”
“True history and legacy making are at stake and the ‘Winner takes it all’ frase has never been more fitting. On Saturday in Moscow boxing and the world of sport will have a new, true superstar!”
The winner of Usyk-Gassiev will be the first boxer ever to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight titles in the four belt era.
The belts on the line will be the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA Super and RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship strap.
The mouthwatering final will be a key event during a weekend of boxing activities in the Russian capital in celebration of International Boxing Day after Comosa were invited to bring and supervise the first final of The Greatest Prize in Boxing – The Ali Trophy – to the festival of pugilism.
Jaime Munguia and Alberto Macahdo Los Angeles Media Workout Quotes
Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, hosted a media workout today at the Westside Boxing Club ahead of the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs), who will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in the 12-round co-main event, also participated in the workout.
Here’s what Munguia and Machado had to say during today’s media workout:
JAIME MUNGUIA, WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion:
“We had a sensational training camp. We have a great team, so I feel very good. The potential fight against Gennady Golovkin really got my name out there. It allowed me to get the opportunity to fight for a world title. I’m grateful for that. I’m also grateful that the NSAC didn’t allow me to fight against Golovkin because it lead to this world title.
I’m always 100% ready. I got the call to fight Sadam Ali with only two weeks notice. The only struggle was to lose the weight, but other than that I was ready. I knew my advantage was my reach and my power. I knew that he was a smaller fighter. Those were the keys to my victory.
I feel very motivated now that I am a world champion. Everyone is going to talk about to me after this fight. This will open up more opportunities, and people will mention my name with the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
I think that the only advantage that Liam Smith has is that he’s fought in big events before. But I have many fights under my belt. I have a lot of experience. I had over 100 fights as an amateur. All this experience gives me a lot of confidence when I step into the ring. Also, Smith might say that he’s a natural 154-pounder, but I want to tell him that I’m a natural 160-pounder who drops down. I’m very happy with the training camp we had and very confident about this fight.”
ALBERTO “EXPLOSIVO” MACHADO, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:
“It’s been about 10 months since my last fight. But it served me well. It allowed me to get some rest and to work on some technical details I needed to work on. I had been boxing for 15 years straight, so it was a necessary rest.
Fighting on HBO for the first time was a dream come true. I used to gather with my friends to watch Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon and Felix Trinidad on HBO, so this was definitely a dream come true. The fight against Jezreel Corrales was very tough. At first, he didn’t event make weight. I knew he had a lot more experience than I did too. But I brought out the spirit that characterizes us a boxers to walk away with the victory.
For this camp, I worked on strategy and technique. I had more time to travel to Los Angeles and work with Freddie Roach. During this camp, I really got to see why he is a Hall of Fame trainer. I got to see why he’s had so many world champions. On July 21, you will definitely see a new and improved Alberto Machado.”
Mykquan Williams Headlines Broadway Boxing on July 21st
Following a successful weekend that saw DiBella Entertainment (DBE) spanning the globe with four impressive victories between junior welterweight star Regis Prograis and US Olympian Charles Conwell in New Orleans, female boxing sensation Raquel Miller in San Francisco and lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr. in Kuala Lumpur, DBE is on the road again bringing the Broadway Boxing series back to its home away from home at the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, this Saturday. Headlining the event will be East Hartford, CT’s “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (11-0, 7 KOs) facing Matt “The Mantis” Doherty (8-4-1, 4 KOs), of Salem, MA, in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.
Only 20 years old, the all-action Williams has become a featured fighter at Foxwoods Resort Casino, with nine previous starts on-site. Managed by Jackie Kallen and trained by Paul Cichon, Williams has started his 2018 campaign in destructive fashion with two first-round knockouts, most recently stopping Orlando Felix on May 5, at Foxwoods. The 29-year-old Doherty looks for a return to victory after his four-bout winning streak was stopped in a six-round clash against highly regarded undefeated prospect Ray Moylette on March 31, in Quincy, MA.
Tickets for the stacked card, presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, Christos Steak House and Gagliardi Insurance, are priced at $125, $75 and $45, and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 6:30 p.m., with the first fight scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The show will be broadcast on LIVE.DBE1.COM, part of the SportsLive OTT service as part of a partnership with CBS Sports Digital. Fans can subscribe to the event for $6.95 now by visiting LIVE.DBE1.COM.
Featured in an eight-round women’s featherweight contest, Providence, RI, fan favorite Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (22-1, 1 KO) battles hard-hitting Colombian Calixta Silgado (16-9-3, 11 KOs), in a rematch of their memorable clash last year, won by Vincent over eight rounds. Including the win versus Silgado, Vincent is currently riding a four-bout winning streak, started after her history-making nationally televised battle with world ranked Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, the only loss on her ledger.
Popular fast-rising welterweight prospect Adrian Sosa (7-0, 5 KOs), of Lawrence, MA, will compete in a scheduled six-rounder. The 23-year-old Sosa returns to action following his best win in the paid ranks, a six-round decision against fellow undefeated prospect Khiry Todd on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Sosa was a 2014 New England Golden Gloves champion and turned pro in July 2016 following an 18-2 amateur career.
Newcomer Lamont Powell (1-0), of Pawtucket, RI, will compete in a four-round middleweight bout against Charles Carroll (0-1), of The Bronx, NY. The 25-year-old Powell made his triumphant pro debut on May 5, with a shutout four-round decision against Amadeu Cristiano.
Brooklyn, NY’s Hurshidbek Normatov (6-0, 2 KOs) will square off in a six-round junior middleweight fight against fellow unbeaten prospect Alexis Gaytan (4-0, 2 KOs), of Mission, TX. A former amateur standout representing Uzbekistan, the 26-year-old Normatov won a six-round decision versus Ronald Montes on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, Normatov was an experienced amateur competing in 324 bouts and winning the 2014 European National Championships. The 23-year-old Gaytan returns following a six-round decision win versus then undefeated Kendrick Ball Jr. (9-0-2), on June 2, at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Undefeated super middleweight contender Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, will see action, after a three-year layoff, in a scheduled six-rounder against Willis Lockett (16-23-6, 5 KOs), of Takoma Park, MD. Allen is a former WBC CABOFE, New York State and Guyanese champion.
Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., Uzbek heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1 KO) will return to the scene of his pro debut in a six-round bout. Born in Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, Jalolov was a highly accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 84-13. A four-time National champion from 2013 to 2016, Jalolov represented his homeland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and had the distinguished honor of being the country’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremonies. As an amateur, Jalolov won gold medals at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in 2017, World Cup Tournament, Liventsev Memorial Tournament, Great Silk Way Tournament, and Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in 2015, and at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament in 2014. During his amateur career, Jalolov also focused on his education, earning a Master’s Degree in Sports Science. He now trains in Miami, FL, with the renowned Pedro Diaz and Ravshan Khodjaev.
Bridgeport, CT, native Oscar Bonilla (4-3-2) will challenge Philadelphia, PA’s Seifullah Jihad Wise (3-4, 1 KO) in a six-round junior welterweight bout.
2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell Scores 2nd Round Stoppage
2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell was impressive by stopping Travis Scott in the 2nd round of their junior middleweight bout.
Conwell came out in round by hurting Scott with a flurry of punches on the ropes. Conwell ended things with a perfect left hook to the body that sent Scott to a knee for the ten count at 1:34.
Conwell, of Cleveland, OH raises his record to 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Scott, of Baton Rouge, LA falls to 19-4.
“This win means a lot as it shows that I can not only beat good fighters with experience, but get them out of there,” said Conwell. “It also shows that I am on a whole other level then guys out there in my weight, and that I am a force to be reckoned with.”
“Charles has remarkable power for somebody his age, and he really has no ceiling. This was supposed to be his step up fight,” said Split-T Management CEO, David McWater.
Conwell is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions
World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation Up and Running
Combat sports’ newest organization, World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF), officially announced today that it is fully operational and targeting this October to promote its inaugural professional event, to air worldwide on independent pay per view.
WBKFF principals include CEO Tom Stankiewicz, COO & Director of Operations JC and matchmaker Paul Tyler.
The exact date of this historical event, venue, complete PPV details, and bouts will be announced during this summer.
“WBKFF will soon become the biggest, most popular in combat sports,” JC predicted. “This all started from our passion for hand-to-hand combat and to give fans what they deserve. WBKFF and fan-friendly will be synonymous. We’re going to give combat sports fans what they want and deserve: integrity, passion and fairness.”
Newly adopted rules including holding and striking, spinning backfists and hammer fists will be used in all WBKFF fights, which will be contested in a traditional boxing ring for optimum viewing and safety. All men’s and women’s matches will feature five (two-minute) rounds.
WBKFF has actively scouted and recruited battle-tested veterans and promising prospects alike from boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and other combat sports disciplines.
Members of the WBKFF stable of fighters range from legendary MMA veteran and undefeated kickboxer Phil “New York Bad Ass” Baroni to Street Beats Internet and YouTube MMA sensation Chris “Mighty Mouse” Yarborough, pro-debuting Team USA national boxing champion Tika “Ice Cold” Hemingway and former University of South Alabama football star Desmond LaVelle, former UFC fighters Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio and Christina Marks, former Bellator fighters Virgil “Rezdog” Zwicker and Dakota Cochrane, and former world boxing title challenger Jasmine Clarkson, among the more notables to date.
Additional signings, including some with major names in MMA and boxing, are in negotiation stages.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Danny Batchelder “I will Beat Michael Terrill for America!”
Danny Batchelder “I will Beat Michael Terrill for America!”
By: Benny Henderson
Professional boxer and reigning American Bare Knuckle Boxing champion, Danny Batchelder aims to jump the pond and pound out a victory over the hometown hero, Michael Terrill. Danny, who is a 40 plus fight veteran as a professional boxer, has also competed in BKB since the 90‘s. In this exclusive interview, Danny speaks out on his boxing career, as well as BKB, and gives his thoughts on his upcoming throw down against Michael Terrill. He also talks about his time with team Mike Tyson and more.