It turns out Paulie Malignaggi and Artem Lobov just needed five rounds of bare knuckle boxing to settle one of the nastiest feuds in the fight world.
Incredibly, it was Lobov who claimed the unanimous decision (48-47 x 3) on Sunday (AEST) at Bare Knuckle FC 6 as he improved to 2-0 in the organisation.
Malignaggi, a former boxing world champion, was predictably the more polished striker but looked a bit hesitant, while Lobov — Conor McGregor’s teammate — looked to make things messy and apply the pressure.
On his bare knuckle boxing debut, Malignaggi surprisingly struggled to truly outbox Lobov, but said post-fight he believed he still won the fight despite potentially breaking his right hand in the second round.
Nevertheless, a bitter feud that dates back to Malignaggi’s infamous sparring session with McGregor was finally settled with fists, and only fists.
Malignaggi, who has had issues with broken hands in the past moved nicely behind his jab, but Lobov — a former UFC fighter — maintained his aggression and finished strongly to win over the judges.
“You know to me, there is many people out there that talk a lot of s*** and then they don’t show up,” Lobov said post-fight; addressing the pre-fight promotion which involved some unpleasant altercations.
“Paulie, he shows up. You can like him or hate him, but in terms of being a fighter, he showed up that time to spar … and he showed up tonight to fight. So, I will always respect a fighter for that.”
Lobov confirmed their feud was over.
Meanwhile, Malignaggi made it clear this was his first and last appearance in the BKFC organisation.
“I’m 38 years old,” he said. “I’m too old to start campaigning off of a loss. I would have done this again. I would have considered coming back … I thought I was winning pretty easily.”
Artem Lobov def. Paulie Malignaggi — via unanimous decision
Dakota Cochrane def. Chris Leben — via unanimous decision
Reginald Barnett def. Johnny Bedford — via unanimous decision
Jamie Campbell def. Joey Beltran — via second round KO
Joe Riggs vs. Walber Barros — unanimous draw
Jim Alers def. Elvin Brito — via first round KO
David Mundell def. Drew Lipton — via first round TKO
Abdiel Velazquez def, Travis Thompson — via unanimous decision
Chris Boffil def. Jared Hayes — via third round KO