We’re Very Close to What is Set to be the Culmination of a Toxic Rivalry… Paulie Malignaggi Has Now Explained That He Only Wishes He Had the Chance to Spit on Artem Lobov’s Mother… 

Oh, Paulie. You really need to stop talking now. The New Yorker is an excellent boxing analyst and a very good professional boxer himself back in the day. However, his attempts at trash talk are more than a little bit demented and not really winning him many fans.

He’s set to take on former UFC fighter Artem Lobov at BKFC 6 at the Coliseum in Florida. Lobov – affectionately known as the GOAT by many fans – first rose to fame as Conor McGregor’s sparring partner and a fellow member of SBG Ireland’s elite group of fighters.

‘The Magic Man’ has clearly identified Lobov as the next best thing to McGregor, who he has despised ever since footage of him getting knocked down by ‘The Notorious’ went viral. A noticeably slimmed down Malignaggi has explained why has no remorse for spitting at Lobov at a recent press conference.

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No Shame

Across many sports, both combat and non-combat, spitting is seen as one of the most shameful things you can do to another man. Many athletes would genuinely prefer to be punched than have somebody dispel their bodily fluids on them. Malignaggi is expressing absolutely zero shame over his actions.

“I don’t regret it because the line was crossed a long time ago,” Malignaggi told The Mac Life (transcript via MMA Mania). “You can’t take spitting or anything else out of context. This line was crossed two years ago. Once you cross the line, you can’t set a new line.

“Not only do I not regret it, if his mother was at the press conference, I would have spit on her too. There’s no reason to regret anything. I’m ashamed I couldn’t do more. Once you cross that line with me, we can just go.”

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Clash of Styles

From a stylistic perspective, it is going to be fascinating to see who wins this fight. Obviously, the former WBA and IBF champion will be the better boxer, but bare-knuckle boxing also uses a lot of clinch work, which Lobov’s MMA background will help him with. Georges St. Pierre’s coach Firas Zahabi fancies Lobov to get it done:

“I think that everybody is grossly underestimating Artem Lobov. One, Paulie Malignaggi is not a KO puncher. He’s not a hard puncher. Two, Artem has a head like a brick. He’s got a great chin. He’s very robust. He’s gonna keep moving forward.”

“Three, He’s got brittle hands. Paulie’s very likely gonna break his hands. Artem has been fighting with MMA gloves, 4 oz gloves, his entire career. His (Lobov’s) hands are far more resistant, far more robust and far more trustworthy in a bare-knuckle fight, in my opinion, than Paulie’s hands. If Paulie’s a better boxer, it won’t matter if his hands are broken.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Hard to Call

When you add in Lobov’s experience against Jason Knight, Zahabi might have a good point. Of course, Malignaggi might just put on a boxing masterclass and blow Lobov away. It’s very hard to call.

Just stop spitting on people Paulie. Ok?

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