Exactly one month from today on June 22, Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov will partake in a bare-knuckle fight in a pay-per-view event in Tampa, Florida. In the meantime, neither party has kept their feelings for their opponent secret, and at the pre-fight press conference earlier this week, that trend would continue with the two partaking in a hostile back-and-forth verbal exchange that culminated with Malignaggi spitting at Lobov during the faceoff. Combined with other antics from the former boxing world champion, such as Malignaggi slapping Lobov and spitting on a mural of Conor McGregor, and the “Russian Hammer” believes that the body of evidence is quite sufficient to convict Paulie Malignaggi of dirtbag status (transcript via Bloody Elbow):
“It’s very hard to respect this guy. As a person, as a fighter, how do you respect this guy? Lobov asked at a media scrum following the heated press conference. “He’s just a scumbag, the lowest of the low.” Look at the kind of sh-t he did. I walked into his hometown in the middle of Brooklyn, alone.
“I came there, was asked by the (BKFC) president, ‘Look, no hands. We want to make a good impression on the commission. We’re a new sport trying to make it into the big leagues. So we need to showcase ourselves like professional athletes.’”
What would come next is something that Artem Lobov cannot relate to, as he claims that it not the behavior becoming of a true fighter:
“If you told me now there’s a guy I really hate and he is standing there, and I could sneak up on him and give him a slap and run. I wouldn’t want to do it,” Lobov said. “That gives me no pleasure. That gives me no satisfaction. But I can reel him in fair and square in the f—ng ring, and put him away. That’s what true warriors do. That’s what true men do,” he added. “What he does is that sleazy f—ng lowlife behavior.”
Artem Lobov will have his chance to do just that on June 22 in Tampa, Florida at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6.
Do you agree with Artem Lobov’s character assessment of Paulie Malignaggi?