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Shaq dumping a ton of money into bareknuckle boxing — ‘This is the future of fighting’

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FOX UFC Saturday: Tavares v Romero Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, a longtime fan of UFC, is getting into the fight business. And since the MMA landscape is dominated by Dana White and Co., “Shaq” will be dumping his money into what he believes is “the future of fighting.”

Bareknuckle boxing.

“These are the greatest, toughest athletes in the world,’’ O’Neal told USA Today Sports. “The fact that they’re not using gloves makes them the toughest athletes in the world. I think this is the future of fighting.’’

O’Neal was in attendance for the BKFC “KnuckleMania” event last weekend in Lakeland, Fla., where former UFC strawweight Paige VanZant dropped a decision to boxing import Britain Hart. Shaq entered the ring prior to the “12 Gauge” fight to award the bantamweight title to Dat Nguyen, who outlasted Johnny Bedford for the 135-pound strap.

“Now we’ve got one of the most sought-after sports figures in the entire world,’’ Feldman said. “Who doesn’t know Shaq? And now he’s going to be part of this company and it’s going to make a lot for people want to be part of the company.’’

Terms of the deal, which has yet to be made official, were not disclosed.