Brooklyn's Malignaggi returns to ring to settle ugly feud
by Bryan Fonseca
May 22, 2019 | 5658 views | 0 0 comments | 531 531 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brooklyn boxing notable Paulie Malignaggi will make his return to the ring on June 22 in Florida competing in Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championships (BKFC) for the first time of his prizefighting career, where he’ll face new rival and former UFC standout Artem Lobov.

A press conference to officially announce the bout was held Monday in New York City.

Malignaggi, wearing a checkered powered blue suit with white trim and a black fedora, grabbed the mic from the podium to address Lobov and the media.

Lobov – a native of Russia who is 13-15 in mixed martial arts and 1-0 in BKFC – wore a white tee shirt with a black zip-up sweater to the festivities, seemingly more efficient in case the two engaged in a fight before the fight.

And they nearly did, as expected, considering Malignaggi did slap Lobov when the two had a confrontation in early April prior to an April 6th BKFC main event, where Lobov decisioned Jason Knight.

“Why do you allow men to slap you?” Malignaggi asked his foe at the presser as Lobov interrupted with expletives.

“Slap me now,” Lobov said, the rivals separated by two security guards.

Malignaggi then reached over with the microphone, attempting to tap the head of the mic on the head of Lobov, but Lobov swiftly moved to his right avoiding the hit.

Later, the two were again forcibly separated.

“Don’t make threats again,” a smiling Malignaggi said. “There’s a reason we can’t be next to each other right now.”

The two began their feud when Malignaggi sparred with Conor McGregor ahead of the Irishman’s bout with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

Lobov is a close friend of McGregor’s, and Malignaggi didn’t take kindly to his experience with McGregor, which was heightened by the team releasing a video of the closed session, which appeared to show Malignaggi being knocked down.

The Brooklyn-born Irishman took exception to the video, suggesting they release the entire fight, saying he had been out-boxing McGregor.

As for the actual fight, Malignaggi thinks his extensive boxing resume will translate well into bare-knuckle fighting, along with his noted lack of punching power.

Malignaggi’s boxing record stands at 36-8 with seven knockouts, but he’s been away from the ring since March of 2017.

“I know I’ve never been the big puncher and whatnot, but as I train I realize my hands are like razorblades,” he said, as Lobov stared a hole into the left side of Malignaggi on stage, barely blinking.

“First of all, get a good look at this guy’s face,” Malignaggi said while pointing at Lobov. “Next month I’m going to make him look like a road map.”
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