Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida - Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi was unable to make his bare knuckle debut with a win, as he lost a very close five round unanimous decision to MMA fighter Artem Lobov
All three judges saw it 48-47.
Afterwards, Malignaggi said he suffered a broken hand in the second round. Malignaggi said he was shocked at the decision and felt strongly that he clearly won.
The contest took place at the junior middleweight limit of 154-pounds.
Malignaggi (36-8, 7 KOs), who turns 39 in November, retired from boxing in March of 2017 when he was knocked out in eight rounds by Sam Eggington.
Lobov (13-15-1-1 in MMA), 32, is a veteran of the UFC. He lost his last three fights with the company - which includes a decision loss to Michael Johnson in October of last year.
The rivalry between Malignaggi and Lobov has been fiery since the start of the promotion.
Their tension stems from Malignaggi's two year feud with UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
McGregor, who is very close friends with Lobov, used Malignaggi as a sparring partner to prepare for a scheduled fight with Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.
There was a major fallout between Malignaggi and McGregor, when the UFC star released photos and video clips of their sparring sessions. Malignaggi claims the footage was doctored in order to make McGregor look good.
Malignaggi, still fired up over what transpired with McGregor, slapped Lobov in the face at their initial meeting at a media event. Then a few weeks later, they nearly brawled when Malignaggi spit in Lobov's face.
Once they entered the ring to settle their differences, there was a feeling out process in the first round. There was a lot of clinching. Lobov was doing a lot of swinging and not connecting with a lot of his punches. Malignaggi landed the few punches and did very well defensively.
In the second, Malignaggi was very elusive as Lobov was swinging and missing. Malignaggi was landing in spots to the head and body, with an accurate jab. Lobov had a cut above his left eye, while Malignaggi sustained a small cut under his right eye.
Malignaggi was outboxing Lobov in the third. He was using distance and shooting a good jab. Lobov was unable to land much of anything, except a left hand that partially landed.
Lobov went for broke at the start of the fourth, charging at Malignaggi and throwing a lot of punches, with some of them connecting. Both fighters sustained additional cuts during the in-fighting. Malignaggi was above his right eye and was starting to get hit by Lobov. Malignaggi was landing as well.
In the fifth and final round, Lobov was swinging a lot, but not really landing with much of anything. Malignaggi was moving around, being defensive, but not really throwing a lot.