Former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi has signed a promotional contract with Bare Knuckle FC and fight former UFC bantamweight contender Artem Lobov, given the later wins his fight against Jason Knight on 6th April 2019. Paulie will make his debut in June.
However, before Paulie fights Lobov, they both have to get through their respective opponents first. Today both fighters appeared for a media day in New York. All hell broke loose when former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi slapped Artem Lobov.
. @PaulMalignaggi just slapped Artem Lobov, Conor’s friend and teammate. DAMN! Via @ABboxingnews pic.twitter.com/B5RUtv1mlU
— LITTLE GIANT BOXING (@Constntino) April 2, 2019
However, if there’s anyone who is happy with the recent shuffle between both the fighters, it’s BKFC president David Feldman. The back and forth between both the fighters garnered tremendous media attention.
“As a promoter, you want that kind of stuff to sell a fight. I didn’t want it here today,” Feldman told MMA Junkie. “I wanted it after Saturday, but it happened. … I just wanted to introduce Artem and his fight coming up and get everyone hyped about this fight. Artem bare knuckle is big news, then us signing Paulie Malignaggi, that’s bigger news, and I wanted to maybe preview what maybe could happen in June. But I never thought that was going to happen. I’m very surprised that they went face to face like that.
“I didn’t want to take anything away from Artem and Jason Knight. I just wanted to bring Paulie into the loop. He’s going to sit. He’s going to commentate the fights on Saturday night, so I wanted to get his face a little more recognized with Bare Knuckle and wow, as a promotion, you can’t ask for anything better than that.”