In a new feature, VICE News Tonight profiles former pro boxer Paulie Malinaggi as he steps into the bare-knuckle boxing ring for the first time. His presence helps legitimize the sport, as it slowly moves into the UFC's territory.
VICE Correspondent Ben Anderson has exclusive behind-the-scenes access with Malinaggi, the two time world Boxing champion who was wooed out of retirement, leading up to his defeat at the hands of Artem Lobov as at The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) on June 22nd. The event’s promoter David Feldman claims that between 120,000 and 180,000 customers streamed the fight live, which will have generated between 5 and 7 million dollars.
“The hardest part about this was perception… ‘it’s barbaric!’” he said. “Another year from now, we’re going to have a good TV deal. Three years from now, we’re competing with everybody.”
“If you come to it, you’re gonna fall in love with it,” says Feldman, “Not only are you seeing the action but you hear this,” he punched his left hand with his right, three times, making a dull slapping sound, “Man, it's just awesome. It’s an awesome sound.”
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