Paulie Malignaggi had a lifelong boxing experience in the BKFC ring on Saturday night when he challenged former UFC fighter Artem Lobov, but another thing he brought back proved his fall – his arrogance.
Malignaggi believed that his extensive experience and skills in "sweet science" would be enough to win an easy victory. But even though he took up the word "boxing" in a sport in one sport, he was out of his comfort zone and engaged in a completely different sport.
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His disregard for Lobov's participation in the contest was at times embarrassing. The bitterness clearly persisted a few years ago in this Conor McGregor sparring session, and his attitude towards Lobov was sometimes disgraceful (especially his press conference) and had a bad effect on himself and the promotion he had signed to fight for ,
That does not mean the organizers were so upset about it, mind you. Malignaggi's histrionics, whether spitting or otherwise, increased suspense and undeniably aroused interest in the fight. If Malignaggi's intention was, the mission was accomplished.
But the mission that really counted took place on Saturday night, and there it was ultimately found to be deficient. A fight that he predicted would win easily turned out to be anything but easy as Lobov scored 48-47 points on all Judge points cards.
One thing that this fight demonstrated was the snobbery that still exists between boxing and MMA. Malignaggi mocked the MMA fan base because of their "stupidity" before the matchup and mocked them, Lobov have any chance in the fight.
Well, they do not look so stupid now.
Some parts of The Box Brotherhood have always starred at mixed martial arts, and some mocked MMA fighters for their strike compared to the firmer, sometimes more technical, traditional boxing style.
But the truth is that these people just do not understand – or do not want to understand – mixed martial arts, and no appreciation for the sport, the range of skills and characteristics that are required. That seemed to be the case with Malignaggi, and while Lobov could not finish the American, he did more than enough to scoff "The Magic Man" before the fight.
The mere fist fight between Malignaggi and Lobov has not proven that MMA is better than boxing or vice versa. If it had been under the Queensberry rules, Malignaggi would have led to a decision victory or a late break. According to the uniform rules of the MMA, a crooked result would have gone to Lobov's way. But this fight was neither boxing nor MMA, and the result of last night simply proved that Lobov was better equipped than Malignaggi to win by the rules of the BKFC.
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At the press conference, organizer David Feldman boldly declared the fight was "boxing against MMA". No, that was not it. It was a boxer against a mixed martial artist, but it was not a sport against sport. The whole argument boxing against MMA is certainly selling, but it was always a huge red herring.
Boxing and MMA are two distinctly different sports – distant cousins who share certain characteristics in common – but ultimately are totally different.
An elite boxer would The battle for a world title in MMA is due to the tremendous skills that a world-class mixed-martial artist needs, while an elite MMA fighter is unlikely to do the same thing due to the need for fine-tuning in boxing would do specific striking art.
Both sports require an incredible amount of dedication, technique and tenacity to get to the top. But it is in the art that the two sports are so different. One is not "better" than the other. They are just different – like apples and oranges.
It is high time that both sides accept their differences and respect the characteristics of both sports.
After the contest, Malignaggi shook Lobov's hand and bowed to the former UFC star. Hopefully "The Magic Man" has a bit more respect for Lobov after yesterday's fight in Tampa. "The Russian hammer" deserves it.