Retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi seems to absolutely detest UFC superstar Conor McGregor, but it doesn’t seem like he and McGregor will have the chance to settle their differences in the ring any time soon. The good news for Malignaggi is that he could soon have the opportunity to fight McGregor’s friend and chief training partner, Artem Lobov.
Both Malignaggi and Lobov recently signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (BKFC), and depending on the outcome of Lobov’s April 6 fight with Jason Knight, they could soon be clobbering each other sans gloves in the BKFC ring.
It’s a potential fight that Artem Lobov is incredibly excited for.
“I always show up and I’m going to show people what will happen,” Lobov said on BJPENN.com Radio recently. “April 6th, please tune in and see for yourself, and treat this as a little preview for what I have in store for Paulie Malignaggi. This is fight [with Knight], I will burst through this guy, literally. Choo Choo motherf***er. The Siberian Express is on its way. So I will burst through this guy April 6th, and then down the line I want Paulie Malignaggi. This is the fight that I’m really after.”
Given the long festering beef between Malignaggi and McGregor, Artem Lobov almost couldn’t believe it when he realized he might have the chance to battle the former boxer in the BKFC ring.
“Honestly, at first I couldn’t believe it,” Lobov said of a potential Malignaggi fight. “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.”
As you can probably tell, Artem Lobov is very eager to get his knuckles on Paulie Malignaggi. And not just because it’ll earn him a big payday.
“It’s a big pay day, like you said, but more importantly I get to silence this motherf***er because he’s been running his mouth for way, way, way too long,” he said. “When he is not eating, he is f***ing talking s**t. And it’s time to shut this guy up for once and for all.”
If things go according to plan, and Lobov gets his desired fight with Malignaggi, he’s expecting a decisive win — despite Malignaggi’s boxing experience.
“This particular fight, it suits me so much,” he said. “People talk about, ‘Oh Paulie was in boxing this and that.’ Have a look at his boxing record. Have actually a close look at what he has done. His real boxing record is five wins and eight loses. He didn’t really fight that many great guys. His first 22 wins were to absolute nobodies. And look at the manner in which he defeated guys. He never put guys away. He was a volume puncher. He had very fragile hands. He had problems with his hands many, many times.
“What is he gonna do in bare knuckle boxing when he can’t even cover his hands with those pillows like he used to? He needs to have bare knuckles. And there’s clinch work. I’m allowed to grab him. I’m allowed to control him. He is fat and lazy and 38. That’s another fact. This is a scientific fact. With age… This is actually scientific fact. Your brain gets smaller so as a result there is more space for your brain to move inside your head. As a result you get knocked out a lot easier
“What does that mean for a guy like Paulie that’s facing a guy like me, “The Russian Hammer” with two hammers for fists? He’s gonna get knocked out very quickly.”
Given these comments from Artem Lobov, it should come as no surprise that he thinks Malignaggi will only compete once in the BKFC ring.
As such, he hopes that Malignaggi does not take a fight in the meantime.
“I want him wrapped in bubble wrap until it’s my turn to go through him. I don’t want him fighting no one else,” he said. “No one else because he only has one fight in him. Let’s be honest. The guy’s so fragile. He’s about to collapse. Look at this fat f**k. I’m afraid the stairs will f***ing kill him. He’s about to have a heart attack because of all the donuts he’s been eating. So no, please, don’t let anyone else get their hands on him. Save him for me and only for me.”
Safe to say that there is plenty of bad blood between Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi. The good news is that they could soon have the opportunity to settle their differences in the BKFC ring.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/24/2019.