Artem Lobov is Finding Difficult to Worry About the Challenge of His Latest Rival Paulie Malignaggi… It’s the Biggest Fight of His Career… But The Russian Hammer Wants The Magic Man to Lay Off the Pizza…
It’s a good time to be Artem Lobov. ‘The Russian Hammer’ was a joke figure by the end of his tenure with the UFC, but since transitioning to bare-knuckle boxing, he’s become a star of the sport. He served up one of the fights of the year in his epic, gnarly, bloody clash with Jason Knight and now is set to take on his most famous opponent to date.
That man is the former WBA welterweight and IBF light-welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. The New York native is obsessed with getting back at his archnemesis Conor McGregor, who quite frankly couldn’t care less about him. So because of that, he’s going to fight McGregor’s training partner instead.
Now, Lobov has revealed that he is struggling to take the former boxing champion seriously because of his conditioning – or serious lack of. He thinks that Malignaggi has too much to do before June 22nd when they will finally take the gloves off and fight.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 7, 2019
Lobov found out the hard way that bare-knuckle boxing is a brutal sport. Despite beating Jason Knight, and knocking the Mississipi man down multiple times, he still came out of the match with a badly swollen face and multiple cuts. Malignaggi has no experience of this violent game and despite being a world-class boxer, he’ll have to learn the ways of the clinch. Lobov told The Delve:
“It’s only nine or eight weeks now until the fight. He needs to learn the trade of the clinch. He needs to learn a different pace. He needs to get in shape because he just came off the couch. Big fat pudding. I’ve seen him. Who is going to coach him now? He needs f**king weight watchers to coach him.
That’s who he needs to coach, because he’s just a fat guy off the couch. He asked for the fight to be at 154-pounds when he used to fight at 140. What does that tell you? Lazy and fat. Can’t make the weight. Doesn’t want to make the weight. Doesn’t want to stop eating the pizza. Doesn’t want to put the box of donuts down.”
If this was a pure boxing match, Lobov would have no chance. But it’s not. The clinch is as crucial to the game as the ability to punch, and with his MMA and kickboxing background, Lobov definitely has the edge in that department. He’s not worried about this one at all. He spoke about when Malignaggi sparred Conor McGregor:
“I find it hard to even worry about this fight. What is he going to do? Even in Conor’s spar for example, they did the twelve rounds but the only reason he somehow made it to the twelve round’s end because he did nothing. He was very, very passive.
He never let the right hand go, he threw a couple of jabs and covering up the whole time. The headgear and the big gloves, of course, that saved him. So what’s he going to do? Honestly, I’m just thinking back to that spar where I got to witness him live, watched a bunch of his fights now, what’s he going to do to me?”
This will be an absolutely enthralling contest. It’s not like when Conor McGregor took on Floyd Mayweather in pure boxing. There are way more variables in this. Can Malignaggi force Lobov into a pure boxing match, or will ‘The Russian Hammer’ be able to close the distance and force the clinch?
Will Paulie’s hands be able to take the traumatic impact of boxing without gloves? He has a history of breaking them after all. Will he be too slick for Lobov? We’re genuinely looking forward to this one.