PAULIE MALIGNAGGI smashed a microphone over the head of Artem Lobov as the rivals promoted their Bare Knuckle Boxing FC clash.
The duo will meet with exposed fists on June 22 in Tampa, Florida, as Lobov won his BKB FC debut in April beating Jason Knight while ex-boxing champion Malignaggi competes for the first time.
At the press conference, Malignaggi goaded Lobov, telling his rival: “Why do you eat slaps? Why? Why do you allow men to slap you like that?”
Malignaggi had slapped the Russian last time they faced off in April.
Malignaggi, a former two-weight boxing world champion, was also referring to when UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was captured slapping Lobov in April last year.
After the retired boxer aimed the jibe at Lobov, it sparked the Russian to stand up and confront his rival.
Malignaggi then smacked Lobov round the head with a microphone sparking a melee on stage.
Fans on Twitter claimed the Sky Sports and Showtime commentator has "lost the plot" after the outrageous incident.
One said: "He’s lost the plot Malignaggi. Terrible behaviour. I still think he beats Artem."
Another said: "Never want to see Malignaggi ringside on Sky again. Lost the plot."
The two later went face-to-face where Lobov put his finger in the face of Malignaggi – who then spat at his Russian counterpart.
This rivalry was born in summer 2017 when Malignaggi joined Lobov’s training partner, Conor McGregor, in preparation for the UFC stars boxing crossover against Floyd Mayweather.
After images and footage, including a disputed knockdown of Malignaggi, were leaked online it caused “The Magic Man” to storm out of the Irishman’s camp.
Malignaggi has since vied for a crack at McGregor, who seems occupied with other projects, leaving Lobov as the next best thing for a shot at revenge.
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