Artem Lobov got the mic first. He went right at Paulie Malignaggi, saying he is just doing it for the money.
Then Malignaggi, a Showtime analyst and former ace professional pugilist, got the mic at the Monday presser in Manhattan, snagged the stick…and things went from mild to manic.
The fighting pride of Bensonhurst went into a profane tirade against Lobov. Eff bombs, D bombs…if you didn't care for crude language, you were in Wince City.
Was it meant to sell the fight..or is there legit bad blood there? Maybe a mix…
You might know that Lobov is aligned with Conor McGregor, and McGregor had bad blood when him and Paulie sparred before the UFCer Conor fought Floyd Mayweather…and the internet decided that Conor got the better of it.
That maybe hurt Paul's pride, and only the people who saw the spars know for sure. Paulie and Conor beefed on Twitter…
and it looks like Paulie would like to lure Conor to this league, the bare knuckle sphere.
Could it happen? Stranger things have….
Paulie, age 38, said that “jerkoffs in the media” play up Lobov too much. Lobov kept yapping while Paulie launched into it. Paulie referred to Lobov as a “punching bag,” and said that he should take more time to heal after fighting Jason Knight (see Lobov during that event.)
The two years retired boxer promised that he'd thrash Lobov, on June 22, in Florida, and on PPV. Promoter David Feldman looked on while Paulie held court.
“Shaddup…shaddup,” he snapped while Lobov sniped. He then got angrier. “You pussy hypocrite fuck,” he said, telling all that Lobov after the Conor sparring told Paulie how well he did. “I never lie, because I don't have to fear anyone…You only lie when you're afraid,” he said.
“Next month I'm gonna put this guy in a fuckin' coma…You're a piece of shit…you and your whole crew where you came from…After I beat the fuck outta you, I'm gonna spit on you!” he continued. “I'm gonna take out my dick and piss on you…”
Here, Feldman tapped Paulie's leg, gesturing to take it down a notch. He did, by finishing up…but not before he got another blast off.
“I'm gonna take out my dick and I'm knock your teeth out and I'm gonna piss in that toothless mouth, fuckin pussy, shaddup, I'm done with this, you got five weeks to live, motherfucker.”
Then, questions from media.
–Paulie, 36-8 in boxing, promised to “pummel” and “punish” Lobov, a 32 year old Russian born fighter. That Conor sparring came up….He was asked about it, and admitted he came out of shape, and he admits Conor could have probably kayoed him over 12 rounds, because he was gasping for air. He said Conor is a “pussy” and didn’t try and hammer Paulie.
–Lobov kept yapping..he called Paulie “fat” and said that the ex boxer has such lame power that he won't be able to hurt him.
–Paulie said he is rich, and didn't take his Ferrari to the event because he didn't want to deal with NYC traffic. He also said that he wanted the fight early in the summer, so he could enjoy the whole of the summer. He isn't sure if he will fight after this, he will go one at a time, he stated.
–The Malignaggi vs. Lobov presser ended when they did a face-off. Paulie declared that he had the toughest schedule of anyone in his era, and warned Lobov that if he kept it up, he'd slap him. Wag that finger in my face, and I will slap you again, he said. The finger was wagged, and Paulie, held back by security, instead spat at the Russian.
For sure, Paulie did the job, in attracting attention to the event. Mission accomplished there. And then, beyond that, I think there is legit intrigue, because it is not a given that his body, his lungs, will cooperate…it is possible that his brittle hands won’t take well to the discipline and Lobov has the last laugh.
HERE ARE QUOTES FROM THE PRESSER:
“I've always been known as one of the toughest guys in boxing. Lobov is known as a punching bag with a loud mouth.
“If I had it my way, I'd knock him out in the last round. I want to pummel him from start to finish. He's going to come out trying hard, and then he's going to get gun shy. He's going to hesitate to even take a step.
“I'm always looking for my next challenge. I wasn't planning on this, but it was sold to me, and it appealed to me. Artem is a punching bag and I usually hit that for free.
“I never lie, because I don't have to fear anyone. You only lie because you're afraid. Why are Lobov and his team lying? You know why. I don't care what they think. I'm going to put this guy out next month.
“As I train, I realize that my hands are like razor blades. Get a good look at Lobov's face, because next month I'm going to make it look like a road map with lines all over it.”
“I feel I have the upper hand in this fight. With age, it's easier to get knocked out. He's never hurt anybody in the ring, so it's going to be a bad matchup for him.
“I see me stopping him. He doesn't want it anymore. In order to be a fighter and really compete, you have to have the fire. His fire is long gone.
“My strategy is to come in there and shove my fist down his throat. It's personal now with the way he's been talking and acting. I'm going to put him away.
“Paulie likes to hide behind the jab and feint. He never lets his hands go. He just hides and tries to make it to the end of the fight.
“I'm going to let it all go in that ring on June 22. I'm going to be the ‘Russian Hammer' from the start until the finish. I want to meet him in the ring and put him away like true warriors do.
“I never wrap my hands. Not when I spar, not when I hit the bag or anything. It's made them tougher. They may not look pretty, but they do a lot of damage.
“It's game over for Paulie. I heard he's known as the ‘Magic Man', but I just hope he doesn't disappear before the fight.”
“Bare knuckle is definitely an exciting sport. It's all of the good stuff. Two guys going toe-to-toe. It's what I do best and it puts me in a dangerous position to hurt my opponents. When I first saw BKFC I felt like this sport was made for me.
“You can't really cover up without the glove as a shield in bare knuckle, so it changes how you defend. But it also changes how you hit and where your range is at.
“I think this sport was made for me and it's going to show in the fight. We're both heavy hitters. Brennan will be my toughest BKFC opponent to date and I'm not taking him lightly. I'm riding a resurgence and it's not going to stop.
“I'm pulling out all the stops and doing everything I can to prepare. Because on June 22, I'm knocking him out.”
“Training camp has been going great. I'm really excited because I've been waiting to do a bare knuckle fight for a while. I knew right away that this was for me.
“I think I have a great skillset for bare knuckle. I'm quick and quick on my feet. I'm strong and have heavy hands. I'm able to brawl or box.
“It's basically a normal training camp for me, but with more boxing than ever. I've always boxed a lot anyway, so it's something that's come natural for me.
“I'm a different fighter than who Leben has fought in BKFC. This sport is so well-suited for me. I just want to brawl. I wasn't as into the other disciplines in MMA, so when BKFC came around, I was ready to sign on.
“I think I'm going to be a force to be reckoned with at BKFC. I'm going to find a nice home and do work in the ring.”
DAVID FELDMAN, BKFC Founder & President
“This event is getting the kind of coverage it truly warrants. This is going to be a stacked pay-per-view event from top to bottom.
“The main event here is a highly anticipated battle. This is the biggest bare knuckle fight in history.
“We're really happy with what we've been able to build. If you've seen any of our events, you know that it's non-stop action from the start. We're proud of what we've delivered to fight fans.
“People originally said that Artem had no chance against Paulie, but once they saw Artem in his first BKFC fight, fans can see that this might be tougher than anticipated. This is different than boxing and different than MMA. Getting hit with that bare knuckle is different than anything you've experienced before.
“I'm so excited to bring this fight to Florida and bring this fight to their fans. June 22 live on pay-per-view, this is one you surely do not want to miss.”
BRIAN RICCO, Executive Producer & Distributor
“We're very excited to be on our sixth BKFC show in less than a year. Everything has been amazing. We're expecting a big fight between two great fighters and we're looking forward to bringing this event to fight fans around the world.”