Former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi has an upcoming fight at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 on June 22 at Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall in Tampa, Florida and there is no shortage of bad blood leading into the bout.
Malignaggi and his opponent, Artem Lobov, have a rivalry dating back to Maligaggi’s time as a sparring partner with former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
The two have had a number of altercations, including Malignaggi slapping Lobov and spitting on him during a pre-fight press conference, and now he is calling out the Irishman in a very personal manner.
According to Malignaggi, McGregor is a “coward.”
“He’s such a (expletive), I’ll tell you something about Conor,” Malignaggi said, as transcribed by MMAjunkie.com. “He probably could have stopped me 12 rounds because I don’t have the air supply to go 12 rounds in certain circumstances, but he’s got no balls at all, so any time I was able to land a shot or two, he gave me my break, and he gave me a chance to re-oxygenate, so all I had to do is potshot him and hit him with shots here and there that let me pace myself for 12 rounds.
“He says one thing, but his actions speak another thing, you know what I’m saying? When we talked about his sparring time, he said he couldn’t believe the shots I took. That’s 90 percent of the offense. He said ‘that wasn’t me, great job, great sparring session.’ That was one of the best sparring sessions he ever had. Everyone at the table said that was one of the best sparring sessions they ever saw. Look, that was one of the more simple sparring sessions of my life, OK? I’ve been in gym wars.”
You can watch the full press conference for the summer fight below.