Artem Lobov, close friend and chief training partner of UFC superstar Conor McGregor, is salivating at the possibility of facing retired two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi in the ring.
Maliganggi and McGregor have been trading words for nearly two years – but they are unlikely to ever face each other in the ring.
They had a bad falling out since McGregor used Malignaggi as a sparring partner for a scheduled fight with Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. McGregor was stopped in 10 rounds, but prior to that he leaked footage and photos of his sparring sessions with Malignaggi – which enraged the retired boxer.
Both Malignaggi and Lobov recently signed contracts with Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (BKFC).
Depending on the outcome of Lobov’s April 6 fight with Jason Knight, he could be facing Malignaggi before the end of the year.
“I always show up and I’m going to show people what will happen,” Lobov said on BJPENN.com Radio. “So I will burst through this guy April 6th, and then down the line I want Paulie Malignaggi. This is the fight that I’m really after.
“Honestly, at first I couldn’t believe it [of a potential Malignaggi fight]. I could not believe my luck. I thought I was never gonna get that guy into the ring.
“I knew he needed money, but I thought he was after proper, big, big pay days, like the Conor fight, which he tried to make happen for many, many years. Let’s be honest, there’s no chance of that fight happening. He’s not on the level of Conor.
“So I thought this guy was just gonna talk and yap around and never really step into the ring. I thought he was done, but I was wrong. Money talks. and we all need to eat. Paulie’s broke, otherwise he wouldn’t be commentating every week for a couple of hundred bucks.
“So he’s back. “He’s back in the ring and trust me, this is not the thing he wants to do. He’s 38 years old. And if some people mention ‘Yeah, look at [Floyd] Mayweather’. Sorry, but Paulie Malignaggi didn’t have the lifestyle of Mayweather.
“Mayweather is an athlete. He was very protective of his skillset, very protective of his health. He lived a good life and as a result, he aged well. Paulie did not.
“He’s a fat guy that loved to party that didn’t really train much, that didn’t really do anything. He talks about being whatever pound for pound back in the day, whatever. Look at him now. He’s more like pound for extra pound best of the moment. Big fatso.
“It’s a big pay day, like you said, but more importantly I get to silence this motherf***er because he’s been running his mouth for way, way, way too long. When he is not eating, he is f***ing talking s**t.
“And it’s time to shut this guy up for once and for all. What is he gonna do in bare knuckle boxing when he can’t even cover his hands with those pillows like he used to? He needs to have bare knuckles.
“And there’s clinch work. I’m allowed to grab him. I’m allowed to control him. He is fat and lazy and 38. That’s another fact. This is a scientific fact. With age… This is actually scientific fact. Your brain gets smaller so as a result there is more space for your brain to move inside your head. As a result you get knocked out a lot easier.”