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Malignaggi reveals McGregor fight talks are ongoing

Former two-weight champion Paulie Malignaggi [36(7)-8(5)] has revealed that talks are ongoing for him to face Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor.

Dubliner McGregor [0-1(1)] made a transition to boxing during the Summer for a mega-money bout with five-weight champion Floyd Mayweather.

Following an unprecedented build-up, Mayweather dominated and stopped McGregor in the tenth round of their light middleweight clash at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

A portion of the build-up centred around McGregor’s two sparring sessions with Malignaggi. The New Yorker had previously called out McGregor, but came to camp to help the Irishman prepare for the cross-codes clash.

‘The Magic Man’ was then infuriated with a serious of compromising photos released from the McGregor camp – culminating in a shot of Malignaggi on the canvas.

The 37 year old retired Brooklyn fighter left the McGregor camp after this, and began to call out the Crumlin fighter for a bout after the Mayweather match.

While the public appeal of the fight is questionable, the powers that be are seemingly keen on making the fight – for which Malignaggi has suggested a St Patrick’s Day date at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Speaking to FightHype.com, Malignaggi revealed that “I know Al Haymon’s talking to Dana White. I know they’re speaking, so if they want the fight they’ll make it,”

“Once I spoke to Al and Team Haymon, and they told me they wanted to make this fight, I knew that the only way this fight doesn’t happen is if this guy [McGregor] has absolutely no balls to make it”

“I don’t need to do all that [trash talk etc] because Al Haymon makes anything he wants happen, happen.”

29 year old McGregor has hinted that his next contest will be in the octagon and a defence of his UFC lightweight (155lbs) title against newly-crowned Interim champ Tony Ferguson.

Malignaggi however believes a return to the ring would be more attractive to ‘The Notorious.’

“This fight will pay him more, this fight will get him more exposure. This fight is a bigger fight than anybody else he has,”

“There’s no more Mayweather fight. This fight is the biggest fight there is.

“Even if it’s not the next fight, even if it’s an MMA fight [that is] his next fight, there’s no way he should be walking away from this fight – unless he has no balls.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie