Former boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi will make his debut for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in June when he takes on Artem Lobov, a teammate of former UFC champion Conor McGregor. Malignaggi was brought in to help McGregor spar for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, and the two camps have been at odds ever since.
Following a press conference to promote the June 22 BKFC 6 main event, Malignaggi took aim at the entire MMA community and not just McGregor for their actions in recent months.
"Lobov and the mixed martial arts community have really disrespected my sport in a lot of ways; boxing, saying that we fight with pads on and it's not a real fighting sport and what not, but we have all the deaths," Malignaggi said in an interview with FightHype. "We have more of the deaths by a long shot. We have more of the permanent damage by a long shot. This is not to diminish the danger of mixed martial arts or any other combat sport, but there is a reason why boxing has more deaths and more traumatic brain injuries in one night, because we are the most dangerous combat sport."
Malignaggi and Lobov were separated after Malignaggi spit in the direction of his opponent. He also verbally went after McGregor once more.
"In MMA, Mr. Tap Machine Conor does it every fight," he said. "He's tapout McGregor but at the end of the day, he's still the biggest star there. It's more accepting to save your life. In MMA, they praise these guys. He's over there selling whiskey and people are buying it.
"In boxing, if a guy quit as much as this guy quit and he tried to make any product, they'd kick him in his (expletive) and say get the (expletive) out of here with your bum product."