Artem Lobov stuns Paulie Malignaggi, outpoints rival to win ill-tempered bareknuckle grudge match
'The Russian Hammer' Artem Lobov has had the final word in the bitter feud with Paulie Malignaggi, defeating the former world champion boxer by decision in Tampa, Florida on Saturday night.
Lobov was awarded the unanimous decision victory (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) after being the aggressor for much of the fight, though Malignaggi's wily, defensive style of boxing made him a tricky target to find.
After all the talk of the clinch game in the build-up, the fight was largely contested on Malignaggi's terms. The former two-weight world champion stayed on the outside, feinting shots and attempting to pick holes in Lobov's defense.
The SBG Ireland man, and teammate of UFC star Conor McGregor, won the staring contest. He didn't bite on many of Malignaggi's set-ups, instead choosing his own moments to plow forward. Lobov landed repeated shots to Malignaggi's body, a tactic adopted perhaps due to the fact that the American was fighting at the heaviest weight of his career at 155lbs.
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Both men were bloodied at the end of five two-minute rounds, with Malignaggi sporting a particularly big gash atop of his left eyebrow.
The fight, though, was a calmer affair than Lobov's previous entry into the Bare Knuckle FC cage, which saw the former UFC man defeat Jason Knight in a wild and bloody brawl in April. The war of words between the two will be surely be quietened now, though Malignaggi did express his surprise at the result, questioning the competency of the judges.
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For all the pre-fight build-up, the spitting and the threats of putting Lobov into a coma, it was the mixed martial artist who ended up outpointing the boxer in this strange new arena of combat sports.