Lobov Recently Approached For Boxing Fight With Malignaggi
One of the most highly-anticipated bouts in Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship history was between boxer Paulie Malignaggi and MMA fighter Artem Lobov. While BKFC’s Dave Feldman stated that Malignaggi would most likely not fight with the company again, a rematch between the two was always on the table.
Lobov (13-15-1, 1NC MMA | 2-1 BK) told BJPenn.com that he was offered a rematch with the former IBF Junior-Welterweight and WBA Welterweight Champion. This time, however, it would have been a straight-up boxing fight. The only thing holding it back was the coronavirus pandemic.
“Certainly [I’d rematch Paulie]. I have had some inquires about that as I had a boxing promoter reach out to me and ask if I’d be interested in a pro boxing match against Paulie,” Lobov stated. “With the coronavirus, all of that was put on hold but certainly I’d do it. Pro boxing has been something I’ve thought about for a long time. I think it would be a good first opponent for it.”
The last time the two fought was at BKFC 6 back in June. Lobov was able to deliver more damage to beat Malignaggi (36-8 boxing | 0-1 BK) via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). The card reportedly did over 18,000 buys, with initial hope of over 200,000. A heated pre-fight setup, the two were feuding as a result of the training drama between Malignaggi and Conor McGregor.
With the coronavirus affecting all major sports, it is unknown if this fight will ever come to fruition now. While Malignaggi is retired at the moment, anything can happen. As for Lobov, he is oping to stay active with BKFC. One fighter who he may face is Johnny Bedford. The current Lightweight Champion, Bedford (5-0 BK) could be the big step-up in competition Lobov has been looking for.
“That is probably one of the fights,” Lobov continued. “They spoke to me about Johnny Bedford as well. He is the champion at 135 and is 5-0 in BKFC at the moment.
“He has some noise behind him, but he needs some more exposure. He’s a solid fighter. So, I think it would make sense as he needs some push and a fight with me would do that for him. There are many fights for me.”