Tonight (Sat. June 22, 2019) ex-UFC featherweight Artem Lobov takes on Paulie Malignaggi in bare-knuckle boxing action.
Hours out from the contest, Lobov’s good friend and training partner, UFC mega-star Conor McGregor, took to Instagram to wish “The Russian Hammer” good luck. Here’s what “The Notorious” had to say:
“Good luck to the “Russian Hammer” Artem Lobov tonight! Stay tight. Let rip”
The bad-blood between Lobov and Malignaggi started due to the Russian’s affiliation with McGregor. Back in 2017, Malignaggi was part of McGregor’s camp for Floyd Mayweather, where “Magic Man” served as a sparring partner. McGregor leaked images and footage from their sparring sessions, including a clip that looked like McGregor knocking Malignaggi down.
However, Malignaggi claims the knockdown was a trip/shove. The former boxing world champion has held a grudge ever since. Now, Malignaggi has followed Lobov into the world of bare-knuckle boxing. The build-up to the fight has been extremely personal. Things will certainly be interesting once the pair collide inside the ring.
It’s believed that Malignaggi is attempting to lure McGregor into a boxing bout of their own by downing his good friend and training partner. The boxing ruleset certainly favors Malignaggi, but the bout being contested bare-knuckle evens the odds a bit.