Artem Lobov — and the sport of Bare Knuckle Boxing as a whole — have the fight that they have been looking for.
After defeating Jason Knight through five rounds in the BKFC 5 main event in Biloxi, Mississippi on Saturday, the promotion have announced that Artem Lobov vs. Paulie Malignaggi will headline a June 22 card. Further details of the event will be revealed in the coming days and weeks.
This comes after Lobov’s thrilling victory against Knight in Saturday’s event in a fight which has been hailed as the upstart sport’s ‘Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar moment’ by some, echoing back to the now legendary brawl between the two mixed martial artists 15 years ago which was credited with expanding interest in the sport worldwide. A win, it was announced before last night’s main event, would guarantee a future meeting between Lobov and Malignaggi — and ‘The Russian Hammer’ certainly delivered on his side of the deal.
“He’s a little fucking pussy that plucks his eyebrows,” Lobov said of his future opponent after Saturday’s fight.”I’m gonna spark him.”
The Lobov vs. Malignaggi fight will be the culmination of a lengthy feud between the former boxing world champion and the extended SBG Ireland family, going back to the American’s notorious set of sparring sessions with Conor McGregor ahead of his bout with Floyd Mayweather in August 2016. Footage and images released from the sessions appeared to show Malignaggi taking several blows from the Irishman, as well as him being sent to the canvas after one exchange, though Malignaggi vigorously contested the nature of the images.
The feud blew over further when Malignaggi lost his cool when faced with Lobov during a promotional event in New York last week, setting the table further for what will be one of this summer’s most intriguing fights — and judging by the evidence served up in the ring in Biloxi on Saturday night, Paulie Malignaggi is going to be in a hell of a fight.