If you had closed the book on all the talk about Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi throwing hands, in an official boxing match at some point, well, you may need to re-open it. Of course, no one’s forcing you to…
In 2017, Malignaggi’s feud with McGregor was front-and-center for months, after the retired boxer left the star’s training camp in advance of his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Back then, there was speculation that the two might battle in an official bout, but eventually, all that talk died down.
Well, fast forward to today, as we’re waiting to see what’s next for McGregor, the former champ took social media pokes at both Malignaggi and Khabib.
Malignaggi recently spoke with Off The Ball, and he proposed the following:
“There’s no other fight he can make that he makes more money than he does fighting me – the problem is, he gets beaten by me. Why are you looking to fight Japanese featherweights for half the money than you would fighting me if you can beat me,” said Malignaggi, while referring to McGregor’s recent claim he’s interested in fighting Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition bout.
” [Eddie] Hearn can easily put the fight together, [Al] Haymon can easily put the fight together, Showtime have said they’d be interested in it – I don’t think it’s a no-brainer at this point. I don’t think it’d any secret at this point – there’s money in the fight.
“In boxing I’d be interested in it – I’d love to do a ‘winner takes all’ fight just so he can go for free but I don’t think he’d ever agree to that. I would love to fight Conor McGregor in a ‘winner takes all’ fight in a boxing match, I would absolutely love it because I would beat him to a pulp, I would hospitalise him and I’d make him go home broke too.”
Now, would McGregor make more money boxing Malignaggi than say, fighting Khabib again? Hard to say. It could depend on how the pay-per-view sales were distributed of course. Some might argue that McGregor – Diaz III would be more lucrative as well for Conor, although, again, it depends on how the revenue was shared.
But, unless Dana White has interest in booking Malignaggi – McGregor under the Zuffa Boxing umbrella, it’s hard to imagine this happening. You have to wonder if the UFC wants to risk having McGregor lose to a retired boxer…That would be a considerable setback for McGregor’s status/ brand, yes, even if it happens under boxing rules.