“Animal” Lobov will KO Malignaggi predicts Irish sparring partner

Artem Lobov will knock out Paulie Malignaggi if the pair have a bare-knuckle bout claims one of the many Irish boxers to spar Conor McGregor’s team-mate.

The former mixed martial artist and the former two-weight world boxing champion are scheduled to trade skin rather than leather in a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships clash on June 22nd

If the fight does go ahead BUI Celtic light welterweight champion Victor Rabei [7(2)-0] believes the Irish-Russian brawler will stop the retired boxer and respected pundit.

The Moldova-Dub admits Lobov, who has already enjoyed some serious build up beef with Malignaggi, isn’t the greatest of boxers but suggests he isn’t as bad on his feet as one might think.

Rabei, who next fights in Belfast on May 18th, did some work with Lobov ahead of their respective fights – ‘The Chisinau Cyclone’ outpointing Jake Hanney to retain the BUI Celtic title last month and ‘The Russian Hammer’ outslugging fellow UFC vet Jason Knight in his BKFC debut on Saturday.

The St Michael’s prospect revealed that the Dubliner is an ‘animal’ with timing, movement and power -and as a result, sees his sparring partner stopping the boxer who was previously looking for a fight with McGregor.

Rabei explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “Artem won’t be the best boxer out there but he is very clever.”

“Skills-wise, you’d think he’s very open and vulnerable but it’s completely different when you spar him.”

“He has great timing, power and movement.”

Lobov also sparred with Luke Keeler, Stephen Ormond, and Tiernan Bradley among others
Lobov also sparred with Luke Keeler, Stephen Ormond, and Tiernan Bradley among others

Rabei is a gym-mate of Tiernan Bradley – who sparred McGregor alongside Malignaggi for the Floyd Mayweather fight back in 2017.

Giving his prediction for the proposed clash, Rabei said that “I think Lobov would knock Paulie out.”

“Bare-knuckle is a completely different sport and Artem is an animal. I can’t see Paulie doing good against him.”

For the more traditionalists who prefer MMA to Bareknuckle affairs you can Bet on UFC rather than follow this affair. 

Malignaggi last fought just over two years ago, losing to Sam Eggington in a European title fight. 

The immensely popular ‘GOAT’ Lobov recently cancelled his UFC contract following seven fights over three years and hinted at a move into boxing.

However, the SBG man ended up joining the new BKFC promotion, a controversial venture that has come in for criticism from many – most notably new Irish featherweight champ Eric Donovan.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com