Artem Lobov Talks Potential Boxing Match With Paulie Malignaggi
When Conor McGregor needed a sparring partner in the lead up to the Floyd Mayweather fight in 2017 and Paulie Malignaggi offered his professional boxing experience, what followed was an all out war inside the ring, rather than a sparring session.
McGregor and Malignaggi had traded some words in the past and neither fighter held back once they laced their 10oz gloves. The two have continued to go back and forth in interviews and on social media ever since.
The feud intensified when McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate Artem Lobov got into a scuffle with Malignaggi ahead of ‘The Russian Hammer’s’ bare knuckle fight with Jason Knight at BKFC 5 last April.
The ground was laid for a grudge match. A couple of months later, Malignaggi and Lobov squared off at BKFC 6. After five rounds, Artem claimed a unanimous decision victory.
Speaking to BJPenn.com, Lobov opened up on how he would love to continue his rivalry with Malignaggi inside the boxing ring.
“Certainly [I’d rematch Paulie]. I have had some inquires about that as I had a boxing promoter reach out to me and ask if I’d be interested in a pro boxing match against Paulie. With the coronavirus, all of that was put on hold but certainly I’d do it. Pro boxing has been something I’ve thought about for a long time. I think it would be a good first opponent for it.”
The coronavirus also halted a return to MMA for the 33 year old Lobov, who was offered a fight in the Polish MMA promotion, KSW. Although he is open to fighting Malignaggi again, Lobov is keeping his options open and spoke of his potential next fight in the BKFC.
“That is probably one of the fights. They spoke to me about Johnny Bedford as well. He is the champion at 135 and is 5-0 in BKFC at the moment,” Lobov explained. “He has some noise behind him but he needs some more exposure. He’s a solid fighter. So I think it would make sense as he needs some push and a fight with me would do that for him. There are many fights for me.”
And not just fights in boxing and bare knuckle fighting, Lobov recently stated he wanted to fight Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC Dublin in August.
Would you like to see Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi 2, this time inside a boxing ring?