In the last few weeks, former two division champion Paulie Malignaggi has been verbally erupting in the direction of UFC veteran Artem Lobov.
Malignaggi and Lobov will collide on June 22 in a bare knuckle fight, as the main event of BKFC.
On Monday, Bare Knuckle FC held a press conference to promote next month's card - with Malignaggi and Lobov trading vicious words - and Malignaggi spitting in the face of Lobov.
A few weeks ago, Malignaggi slapped Lobov in face during another promotional event.
Their rivalry stems from another. Malignaggi has a longstanding beef with UFC superstar Conor McGregor, who is good friends with Lobov.
Malignaggi and McGregor had a bad fallout in 2017, after the UFC fighter brought him in as a sparring partner for a scheduled fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Malignaggi has been discussing a promise to put Lobov in a coma - in order to send a message to the mixed martial arts community.
The veteran boxer feels strongly that MMA fans have been disrespectful of the sport of boxing.
“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 told FightHype.com.
“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.
“At days’ end, the reason for me to say ‘Put him in a coma’ or ‘kill him’ or whatever, listen, you don’t ever want, wish bad things on anybody, but honestly, would I feel bad if he wound up there? No, I wouldn’t feel bad because he disrespected all of the families and all of the people that I’ve known personally who have gone through this.
“When your piece of sh*t community and your piece of sh*t people talk about ‘we fight with pads on and now you’re in a dangerous sport like MMA,’ when nothing of the sort happens to you which is why you have a circus of a fanbase because it’s like wrestling. At the end of the day, no matter what happens to you guys, [tapping] assures you you’re gonna see that guy next week. [Tapping] assure you you’re gonna see that guy in a few months. In boxing, you don’t have those assurances so there’s a respect level even to the trash talk that we have and it’s being surpassed now, it’s being overcome with this garbage that we have from this other community.
"For me, I think the way you solve it, seeing one of their own in a coma, seeing one of their own in a f***ing coffin, then you say, ‘You know what, this sh*t is not a joke.’ Fighters risk their lives, no matter what combat sport they’re in. You’re risking your life getting in there, bro. Your life can change in one night. But no other sport does it change like boxing."