Former boxing champion, Paulie Malignaggi is coming out of retirement to fight in the Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).
Just today at a BKFC media day, Malignaggi got into it with fellow recent BKFC signee, Artem Lobov who makes his bare-knuckle boxing debut on Saturday night at BKFC 5 against Jason Knight.
Lobov is, of course, the teammate of former UFC champion, Conor McGregor who Malignaggi infamously sparred with in preparation for McGregor’s 2017 boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Since then, Malignaggi has continually expressed interest in fighting McGregor and he still would like to… But he believes McGregor ‘can not fight him.’
“The only guy that doesn’t want to make Malignaggi-McGregor is McGregor and anybody directly involved with him because they understand the game is over once that fight happens,” Malignaggi said on The MMA Hour. “The show, the game, the flaunting, everything’s over. Because once I beat the sh*t out of you after all the past we’ve had and all the lies you’ve told, you’re done, you’re history. Nobody will ever want to remember you again. So you can’t have that. Not even his Proper whiskey would sell anymore.”
When Malignaggi and McGregor sparred in 2017, a small portion of footage wound up being released that showed McGregor scoring a knockdown on the boxer. Something that he has since continually claimed as a false visualization of their entire sparring session.
“But with Paulie Malignaggi, the perception is you knocked him down,” Malignaggi said. “The perception is you beat him up. Now you’re going to wind up in a fight with him and he’s going to beat the f*ck out of you all over the place. And he’s going to make you look stupid doing it. Conor knows. Conor sparred me. I don’t just beat the sh*t out of you, now I’m going to talk sh*t. I’m gonna embarrass you. I’m gonna emasculate you while I’m doing it. And you’re not gonna like it. It’s not just gonna be a loss, it’s gonna be an embarrassment.
“People will not forgive you for the loss, not just because of the embarrassment of it, but because you lied to them. Your fans will forgive you if they’re true fans, for losing. They will not forgive you for lying to them. And because of the lie, they would never forgive him. So no matter for all the money in the world, Conor cannot fight me.”
Who Malignaggi will make his return and bare-knuckle debut against remains to be announced as well as when. Surely we could have the answer to that question come this Saturday.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/2/2019