Malignaggi on bare-knuckle boxing: ‘I kind of liked the adrenaline rush and it was different, but I am done’

UFC veteran Artem Lobov defeated former boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi via unanimous decision in the main event of the most talked about bare knuckle fight to date in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship “BKFC 6: The Line is Drawn.” The 154-pound fight was a perfect storm of drama as Malignaggi’s longstanding “beef” with UFC mega-star Connor McGregor led him to facing McGregor’s stable mate and friend Lobov in Lobov’s second straight BKFC fight.

Brooklyn’s Malignaggi and Lobov, came to blows in the ring after several months of back-and-forth animosity between them on social media and in person. Both fighters showed their own strengths throughout the fight by trying to strategically outperform the other in what was a close battle in front of a sold out crowd of 4,500 enthusiastic fans from Florida Expo Hall in Tampa live on pay-per-view.

Malignaggi and Lobov showed their resistance to engage immediately, with Malignaggi confusing Lobov with his defense and foot speed. As the fight evolved, Lobov continued to come forward and pressure Malignaggi and although Maliganggi landed jabs and check hooks, it only seemed a matter of time before Lobov’s pressure got the best of him. Lobov continued to throw punches at closer range, which allowed the Russian Irishman begin to dominate. By the third round Malignaggi was cut and on his heels as the momentum had swung to Lobov.

As the action increased in rounds four and five, Lobov began the aggressor and scored the more effective punches. In the end, the judges scored the contest for Lobov 48-47 unanimously.

“This was an emotional fight for me,” said Lobov. “I started more on back foot than usual, but still pressed and stalked him. Even though many people talk a lot about fighting and Paulie had a lot to say, he showed up to fight so I respect him for that. The feud is over and we move on. I am happy I was victorious tonight and I can focus back on my family and my son. It’s all about him now.”

“I am not sure what the judges were looking at, but I felt like he walked into a lot of my jabs and check left hooks,” said Malignaggi, who may have broken his hand during the fight. “Maybe it’s beneath me, but I thought I would give it a shot, give him a shot. Maybe I was wrong. I am 38 years old so I am not interested in campaigning or competing in Bare Knuckle against this loss. I kind of liked the adrenaline rush and it was different, but I am done.”

Photo Credit: Phil Lambert


Malignaggi: ‘This fight ends with Lobov’s face falling off’

Former two-division boxing world champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi shared insights from his training camp as he prepares for his anticipated grudge match against UFC veteran Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov that headlines Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) action on Saturday, June 22 live on pay-per-view from Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Fla.

The televised portion of the can’t-miss night of fights will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT and will also see former UFC veteran Chris Leben in his second BKFC attraction, as he takes on longtime MMA veteran Dakota Cochrane. Plus, the finals of the BKFC Lightweight Tournament will pit Reggie Barnett against Johnny Bedford in a showdown for the BKFC Lightweight Championship.

Here is what Malignaggi had to say from training camp at the 5th Street Gym in Miami:

1) How has training camp has been going in California, New York and Miami?

“My training camp has been really good. We started in New York, went to California for a few weeks, then back to New York, and now Miami. It’s been a traveling training camp and that’s what’s made it fun. It can become tedious being in the same spot and doing the same things over and over again. We’ve tried different things, while also sticking with our basics. I’m up to par both mentally and physically.”

2) Did you do anything special to prepare for Lobov and your bare knuckle debut that you may not have done during training for your boxing matches?

“To prepare for Artem I hit the punching bag a lot more, because Artem is basically a punching bag with legs. I wanted to get used to that and get my fists accustomed to it. We’ve also done some other things to be prepared specifically for my bare knuckle debut.”

3) What will this last week entail heading into fight night next Saturday?

“We’re just making our final preparations now and doing the final overview of our game plan. We’re already sharp and we’re maintaining it. We’ll make a full-on decision soon about the approach we’ll take into the fight.”

4) How do we expect your fight against Lobov to play out stylistically?

“This is going to be a painful night for Artem. This is a world-class fighter against a punching bag with feet. He’s going to be very stubborn, but he’s going to get hit nonetheless. I think you’re going to see that I’m a different class of fighter. I’ve been a champion and I’ve been in the ring with many champions. He doesn’t have that experience. You’ll see what difference that makes on fight night.”

5) What would a victory at BKFC 6 mean for your professional fighting career?

“This would be another feather in my hat to get this win. I’m taking part in a new kind of combat and it would show that I can be successful and victorious in anything I put my mind to.”

6) What’s your prediction for how this fight ends?

“This fight ends with Lobov’s face falling off. I’m going to cut him up. I hope he lasts, because I want to beat him down round after round.”

Photo/courtesy: BKFC

Malignaggi: ‘As I train, I realize that my hands are like razor blades’

Former boxing world champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi and UFC veteran Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov went face-to-face Monday at a heated press conference in New York to officially announce their Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship showdown the headlines action on Saturday, June 22 live on pay-per-view from Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall in Tampa, Fla.

Also squaring off Monday before they battle on BKFC 6 were UFC veteranChris Leben and longtime Bellator standout Brennan Ward. Televised coverage on June 22 will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. and also featureReggie Barnett against Johnny Bedford in a showdown for the BKFC Lightweight Championship.

Here is what Malignaggi had to say:

“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.”

Photo: BKFC


Malignaggi to compete in Bare Knuckle Boxing

Former two-division world champion boxer and boxing commentator Paulie Malignaggi has signed an exclusive deal to compete for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). Malignaggi is expected to make his BKFC debut in June 2019 at a location yet to be determined.

“This is great signing for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship,” said BKFC Founder and President David Feldman. “At this time in our company’s growth, we needed to add a legitimate and well-established world champion boxer to our roster, and I believe with Paulie’s ability and personality we’ve done just that. Paulie is the perfect fit for us.”

“BKFC is the new wave in combat sports. They’re doing great things and I’m very excited to be a part of this organization,” said Malignaggi. “I’ve accomplished some big things in boxing career, and I look forward to what this next phase brings. After a long boxing career, it’s easy to miss the limelight and the rush that combat brings. I look forward to getting back in action and the new challenge of fighting for BKFC.”

Malignaggi, a 38-year-old native of Brooklyn, NY, battled some of the top names in the super lightweight and welterweight divisions as a professional boxer. In June 2007, Malignaggi defeated Lovemore N’dou by unanimous decision to capture the IBF Super Lightweight Title. Malignaggi defended that title twice before losing the belt to Ricky Hatton in November 2008. In April 2012, Malignaggi won his second world title, defeating Vyacheslav Senchenko by technical knockout to secure the WBA Welterweight Title. He successfully defended the WBA title once before suffering a split decision loss to Adrien Broner in June 2013.

During his professional boxing career, Malignaggi amassed an impressive record of 36 – 8, with seven of his victories coming by way of knockout. A winner of three out of his last four boxing contests, Malignaggi last fought professionally in March 2017 in a loss to Sam Eggington. In mid-2017, Malignaggi worked briefly as a sparring partner for Conor McGregor as McGregor prepared to face undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather later that year.

Malignaggi: ‘If it took that failed drug test for you to realize Canelo was on something, that’s like thinking Lance Armstrong was clean’

On Friday, it was announced that Canelo Alvarez was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for two failed drug tests. According to the NSAC, Alvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol on February 17 and 20.

A commission hearing is scheduled for April 10.

At this point, Alvarez’s fight with Gennady Golovkin is still on for May 5 in Las Vegas.

Many in the boxing world are shocked about Alvarez’s positive test for Clenbuterol. However, former world champion Paulie Malignaggi is not surprised at all:

“If it took a failed drug test for you to actually think Canelo was just starting to be dirty, watch bowling, bro; don’t even watch boxing anymore,” Malignaggi told ESNEWS. “If it took that failed drug test for you to realize Canelo was on something, that’s like thinking Lance Armstrong was clean just cause nobody caught him back when he was winning 17 Tour De Frances going into the Alps flying when everybody else was slowing down.

“If you’re that stupid, that’s like thinking McGwire and Sosa were clean when they were running through those home runs even though before they came out they got caught. If you need a failed drug test to realize some guys are cheating, you’re (bleeping) moron, and you should knit for a living instead of watching sports for a living.”

Alvarez has blamed Mexican meat for his positive test, and at this point, the WBA and WBC have sided with Alvarez.

In the end, we’ll have to wait until April 10 to get answers about what really happened.


Antonio Tarver on Paulie Malignaggi: ‘I think he got what he deserved’

The Mayweather-McGregor promotion was the talk of the summer. From the world tour back in July, to the weigh-in on Friday, we could not get enough!

A sideshow to this event was the McGregor-Malignaggi sparring session. Paulie Malignaggi, who sparred with Conor McGregor, left McGregor’s camp after photos were leaked of their sparring session. Ultimately, UFC head Dana White leaked a video of their sparring session. In the video, we saw Malignaggi get knocked down(questionable) by McGregor.

Now, another video of their sparring session has surfaced, and just like the first video, McGregor is getting the better of the action.

Take a look:

According to former boxing world champion Antonio Tarver, Malignaggi got what he deserved:

“When you go to a champion’s camp, you don’t have any rights. You’re there as a hired hand. Get your meals, prepare to work, that’s it. So Paulie, I think he got what he deserved, basically,” Tarver told the “Go4it” podcast with Paul Gant. “I mean, was he really going there to help McGregor, or was he going there to get the spotlight? And it went bad for him.”

Based on photos, videos, and Malignaggi’s body language, Tarver thinks McGregor did dominate Malignaggi in sparring:

“We saw what happened, and body language is everything.  You can do some altering to some pictures and stuff like that, but the video was plain to see, and your body language tells everything. And it just looked like Paulie got his a__ beat,” Tarver said. “That’s what I said when I first saw the pictures, and then when they put the video out, I think it got worse when he was trying to make excuses and defend what everybody else was seeing. It was a bad day of sparring; you got caught with some clean shots, it didn’t look good for you and you were still trying to justify what everybody was seeing. That’s what made it, I think look bad.”

In the end, Tarver believes that this whole situation for Malignaggi was not necessarily a bad thing:

“Overall, most people don’t videotape sparring because most champions don’t want other people seeing inside their camp, so that was a little below the belt for what they did, but what happened in sparring, is what happened. I think Paulie got the worse of it; he got his ego bruised a little bit, but at the same time, he is a smart guy, an intelligent guy, so of course, his name being mentioned around this big super fight, it can’t do no harm for Paulie,” Tarver said.

Listen at the link below:




Floyd Mayweather on McGregor-Malignaggi sparring session: ‘Honestly, it should not have even went 12-rounds’

Floyd Mayweather has watched the sparring video leaked by UFC head Dana White between Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi. He discussed the 12-round sparring session on a conference call on Thursday night:

“It was real interesting, but a lot of “rabbit punching.” Illegal rabbit punches behind the head. A lot of shots was illegal.  A lot of grappling, a lot wrestling; a lot of illegal shots. That’s just my honest personal opinion,” Mayweather said.

Mayweather went on to discuss the controversial knockdown in the sparring session:

“Some may call it a knockdown; some may not call it a knockdown. At the end day, it only counts once you get under the lights. That’s just the gym,” Mayweather said.

“We sitting here judging Paulie(Malignaggi), a guy that’s been retired, commentating and traveling the world; not going to the gym at all, and going in there with an athlete period that’s just working out everyday. Honestly, it should not have even went 12-rounds with a young guy that’s active,” Mayweather said.

Mayweather-McGregor will battle on August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime PPV.

Dana White releases McGregor-Malignaggi sparring footage; is it a knockdown?

UFC’ head Dana White released footage from the controversial sparring session between Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi from last week via Instagram on Friday night.

Malignaggi left McGregor’s camp after photos were leaked from his sparring session with McGregor.

In the footage, which is 25 seconds in length, McGregor is seen getting the better of Malignaggi. Also, we see footage of the knockdown that Malignaggi claims was a push. 

After viewing the footage, it does look like a slip, but I’ll let you be the judge!


Fmr McGregor sparring partner Chris van Heerden on McGregor-Malignaggi beef: ‘Obviously, he(Malignaggi) was done bad’

Paulie Malignaggi had enough. On Thursday, he went to Twitter to explain why he left Conor McGregor’s camp. Malignaggi was upset by leaked photos of his sparring session with McGregor from Tuesday in Las Vegas:

What happened to Malignaggi was not surprising to former McGregor sparring partner Chris van Heerden. The former IBF and IBO welterweight champion leaked a video of his sparring session with McGregor from 2016.

van Heerden told USA Today Sports back in June why he leaked the video:

“When people ask me why I’ve released this footage now, it’s because it hurts me that there are guys like myself who have been devoted to this sport, risking our lives,” he said. “And to see McGregor, who has zero knowledge of professional boxing, make it out like he could just get out of an octagon, step in the ring and beat up the best pound-for-pound fighter out there – to just make out like our lifestyle is so easy and that anybody could do it, and then for people to be saying he has a big chance of beating Floyd. I just thought, judge for yourself,” van Heerden told USA Today Sports.

van Heerden gave his thoughts to TMZ Sports on the McGregor- Malignaggi situation:

“I’m quite surprised that they done Paulie bad like that. A big part of me expected it because that’s what happened to me, but I thought they would show more respect toward Paulie, and by surprise, they didn’t,” van Heerden told TMZ Sports.

“People are calling me a “snake” all the time for me putting the truth out there (video of McGregor-van Heerden sparring session). They were like ‘you a snake’ this and that, and I was like no Conor’s team did me bad first. Luckily, I had some footage, and I revealed the truth.  It looks like they learned from their lesson. I spoke to Paulie last night. Very upset, not happy with what happened. He wasn’t allowed any cameras or phones. Obviously, he was done bad. “

van Heerden does believe Malignaggi deserves an apology from Conor McGregor.

Listen to the complete interview below:


Malignaggi leaves McGregor’s training camp

Former world champion Paulie Malignaggi is leaving Conor McGregor’s training camp.

Malignaggi explained his reason for leaving via Twitter on Thursday:


Malignaggi, who sparred with McGregor for 12-rounds on Tuesday in Las Vegas, was angry about leaked photos that made it appear he was knocked down by McGregor in sparring.

Here was Malignaggi’s response to the leaked photos:


McGregor will battle Floyd Mayweather on August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime PPV.