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19 Jun, 2019 12:23

Paulie Malignaggi 'doesn't have the chin' for bareknuckle boxing, says world champion Jimmy Sweeney

Paulie Malignaggi 'doesn't have the chin' for bareknuckle boxing, says world champion Jimmy Sweeney

World champion bareknuckle boxer Jimmy Sweeney says Paulie Malignaggi doesn't have the chin or the punch power to be a success in bareknuckle fighting, but he wasn't too impressed with Artem Lobov's debut in the sport, either.

Malignaggi and Lobov are set to meet in a high-profile bout for the sport at BKFC 6 in Tampa, Florida this Saturday.

Recently speaking to Robin Black on RT Fight Talk, Sweeney said the American isn't made of the right stuff to be a legitimate world champion in bareknuckle boxing – and he'd be happy to demonstrate exactly why.

"Paulie was a great gloved fighter. He's a three-weight world champion," he said.

"But he's coming over to my sport now and I'd have absolutely no problem knocking Paulie out. He doesn't have the chin for it and he doesn't have the punch power for it.

"There's a lot of people calling Paulie out on our side of the world. But if Paulie ever wants to try his hand at the best in the sport, come over and fight me. If he wants to make a name for himself in the sport, the only guy he can do it off is me."

Sweeney, who has been campaigning in bareknuckle competition for years, winning world titles in three different weight classes, admitted that the surge in interest from the likes of Lobov and Malignaggi getting involved is great for the sport overall.

"It's absolutely brilliant, the attention it's getting," he said.

"All publicity is good when it comes to exposing our sport.

"We've been doing it for four years (in BKB in the UK) and we're getting really big now. And it's getting even bigger with America coming in and a big company out there, so it's really good.

"With the likes of Paulie coming in who has massive exposure – an ex-world champion boxer – that's great for the sport."

READ MORE: Artem Lobov's 'A+' toughness will pose real problems for Paulie Malignaggi, says coach Firas Zahabi

Malignaggi's opponent wasn't immune from criticism from the three-weight BKB world champion either, with Sweeney offering a scathing assessment of Lobov's debut victory over fellow former UFC fighter Jason Knight in a bloody war earlier this summer.

"A lot of people said it was a great fight, but they were just going on how badly f***d up the two guys were," he stated.

"To me, it just looked like two pub brawlers punching the s**t out of each other. There was no skill involved in it, really.

"They took a hell of a beating, both of them. That's not bareknuckle boxing, that bareknuckle brawling. There's an art to this, and what I do and how I do it is how it's supposed to be done.

"But what it did do is get a lot of attention. That was the only positive to that fight, to be honest," Sweeney added.

Also on rt.com 'When Khabib smacked him, Artem just punked out': Malignaggi keeps taunting Lobov (VIDEO)