Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship has signed former world champion Paulie Malignaggi to an exclusive deal that will have him make the transition to bare knuckle boxing.
The retired boxer has signed with the promotion, which launched in 2018, and is expected to make his BKFC debut in June at a location to be announced in the future. In a press release sent to Fightful, Malignaggi said he missed fighting and called the promotion, the “new wave in combat sports.”
"BKFC is the new wave in combat sports. They're doing great things and I'm very excited to be a part of this organization," said Malignaggi. "I've accomplished some big things in boxing career, and I look forward to what this next phase brings. After a long boxing career, it's easy to miss the limelight and the rush that combat brings. I look forward to getting back in action and the new challenge of fighting for BKFC."
Malignaggi is a two-division world champion, having held the IBF junior welterweight title from 2007 to 2008 and then the WBA welterweight title from 2012 to 2013. Sporting a 36-8 pro record, Malignaggi has faced the likes of Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner and Ricky Hatton among others throughout his career. The 38-year-old Malignaggi retired after a knockout loss to Sam Eggington back in 2017.
The promotion has made several big signings as of late, including former UFC fighters Artem Lobov and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, with the latter being signed to a deal working in “fighter relations.” BKFC’s next show will take place on April 6 with Lobov facing Jason Knight in the main event of a pay-per-view card from Biloxi, Mississippi.