Dan Hardy has rushed to the defense of his sport after the former boxer Paulie Malignaggi took a shot at mixed martial arts and its fans.
Malignaggi took a shot at both Lobov and the MMA community following his rather turbulent appearance at the official BKFC 6 press conference earlier this week.
“Lobov and the mixed martial arts community have really disrespected my sport in a lot of ways; boxing, saying that we fight with pads on and it’s not a real fighting sport and what not, but we have all the deaths.
“We have more of the deaths by a long shot. We have more of the permanent damage by a long shot. This is not to diminish the danger of mixed martial arts or any other combat sport, but there is a reason why boxing has more deaths and more traumatic brain injuries in one night because we are the most dangerous combat sport.”
Speaking during a recent appearance on SiriusXM, Hardy fired back at Malignaggi for generalising those within his sport – expressing his disappointment at the former two-time world champion.
“It disappoints me that he is grouping all MMA fans together. We are not all grouped together, we are not poking fun at boxing because they wear pads, we do respect it and it’s often been boxing that has drawn the ‘us vs you’ argument because of the rise of MMA.”
“To claim the deaths in boxing is ridiculous, to say we’re [boxing] the toughest sport because we have the most deaths is silly. Maybe what we should do is analyze why there are deaths in boxing and see if we can fix it, and part of the problem maybe is [that] they are wearing padded hands.”
From there, he moved on to predict a painful end to Paulie’s bareknuckle boxing career – citing his famously brittle hands as something that could work against him in there with Artem on June 22.
A lot of people believe that the technical edge possesses by the SHOWTIME analysis will be enough to see him past the comparatively more sloppy Lobov.
Hardy, on the other hand, sees one of Malignaggi’s old weaknesses coming back to haunt him.
“Now Paulie is going to get a very different look when he’s bare-knuckle boxing cause he’s going to break both his hands on Artem Lobov’s head. He’s got soft hands and no punching power as it is…He’s also set the bar very high now because if he goes into this fight against Artem, he breaks both his hands and he can’t continue to fight what’s he going to do, tough guy it through?
“What we’re interested in is the most efficient and effective style of fighting. It’s not a comparison with boxing, it never has been. I appreciate the art of boxing, but it is a small element of the whole of combat sports and it has been so refined that it is not really very realistic in real combat.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena