Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov now have a date and locale for their anticipated bare knuckle grudge match.
The pair will collide at BKFC 6 on June 22 in New Hampshire. Malignaggi first divulged these details in an interview with Helen Yee. BKFC President Dave Feldman later confirmed the news to MMA Fighting, though he added that an exact venue for the fight has not yet been locked down.
Artem Lobov last fought at BKFC 5, when he made his bare knuckle debut, defeating fellow UFC veteran Jason Knight in a 2019 Fight of the Year contender. Prior to this BKFC debut, the Conor McGregor training partner gave up three straight in the UFC’s Octagon, losing decisions against Cub Swanson, Andre Fili and most recently Michael Johnson.
The former professional boxer Paulie Malignaggi, on the other hand, has not fought since 2017, when he was knocked out by Sam Eggington in his final boxing match.
To say Artem Lobov is excited for this fight with his arch rival would be an understatement.
“Honestly, at first I couldn’t believe it,” Lobov said of a potential Malignaggi fight on a recent episode of BJPENN.com Radio. “I could not believe my luck. I thought I was never gonna get that guy into the ring. I knew he needed money, but I thought he was after proper, big, big pay days, like the Conor fight, which he tried to make happen for many, many years. Let’s be honest, there’s no chance of that fight happening. He’s not on the level of Conor. So I thought this guy was just gonna talk and yap around and never really step into the ring. I thought he was done, but I was wrong. Money talks. and we all need to eat. Paulie’s broke, otherwise he wouldn’t be commentating every week for a couple of hundred bucks.
“So he’s back,” Lobov continued. “He’s back in the ring and trust me, this is not the thing he wants to do. He’s 38 years old. And if some people mention ‘Yeah, look at [Floyd] Mayweather’. Sorry, but Paulie Malignaggi didn’t have the lifestyle of Mayweather. Mayweather is an athlete. He was very protective of his skillset, very protective of his health. He lived a good life and as a result, he aged well. Paulie did not. He’s a fat guy that loved to party that didn’t really train much, that didn’t really do anything. He talks about being whatever pound for pound back in the day, whatever. Look at him now. He’s more like pound for extra pound best of the moment. Big fatso.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/18/2019.