Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov have gone at it in the media, and now they’ll settle things as they headline a June 22 Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) pay-per-view event from Tampa, Florida.
Malignaggi, 38, won the IBF 140-pound title back in 2007, and made a pair of successful defenses before vacating to take a money fight with Ricky Hatton in Nov. 2008. Over his 16-year pro boxing career, he faced the likes of Miguel Cotto, Hatton, Juan Diaz, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner, Zab Judah, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia.
His last boxing fight came in March 2017, when he was knocked out in the eighth round by Sam Eggington. He announced his retirement after that, leaving the sport with a record of 36-8 (7 KO). He’s worked as a Showtime analyst for the last few years, and signed with BKFC earlier this year.
“I’m very excited to make my BKFC debut and for this fight to take place in Florida. Bringing BKFC to another state is only going to help this sport grow faster and attract more attention to bare knuckle fighting,” said Malignaggi.
“It’s no secret, Artem and I have some bad blood between us. I don’t like him and I’m looking forward to sinking my fists into his face. June 22 can’t come soon enough. Fans are going to really enjoy this one as the biggest BKFC card yet, and it’ll set the stage for even bigger and better events as more fighters realize that they can make a good living and have a great career in this discipline of combat sports.”
Lobov, 32, is an MMA veteran with a career record of 13-15, 2-5 in UFC. He is a friend and training partner of Conor McGregor, with whom Malignaggi has had several cross words over the years after Malignaggi worked in McGregor’s camp for Conor’s 2017 fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Lobov was released from UFC in January of this year, and signed a three-fight deal with BKFC at that time. On April 6, he won a bloody main event over Jason Knight, a fellow former UFC fighter.
“I’m really looking forward to this fight,” said Lobov. “Paulie has been doing a lot of talking. He hasn’t been able to keep his mouth shut, but on June 22 I’m going to silence him. He’s an old boxer who’s coming off of the couch.
“He’s only doing this because he didn’t manage his money better, so now he has to take a fight against me, ‘The Russian Hammer.’ I expect to maul Paulie in there. He doesn’t know what he’s in for. I’m going to introduce him to some things that he’s never seen before and this is going to be a real fight.”
Those are the official quotes from the official press release, and do not include Malignaggi’s threat to knock all of Lobov’s teeth out and piss in his toothless mouth.
Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov kicked off at the obscene press conference to announce their June 22nd bare-knuckle boxing fight: "I'm gonna take out my d**k, after I knock his teeth out, and I'm gonna p*** in that toothless mouth." pic.twitter.com/IJ2XeVXzWd— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) May 20, 2019
Given that for some reason there is no primetime boxing on June 22, Bad Left Hook will be here with live coverage that night.