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Paulie Malignaggi denies that negotiations have started for Conor McGregor fight

Following a number of reports, former two-weight champion Paulie Malignaggi has dismissed claims that he is in negotiations for a fight with Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor.

The past 48 hours have seen numerous outlets pick up on a tweet from @BoxingKingdom14 which, citing a ‘credible source’, stated that negotiations were ongoing between the pair. This was followed up by a similar claim from MMA insider #Dizz©.

Malignaggi, though, has quashed these rumours.

The New Yorker told the Daily Express that the reports are “not true.”

‘The Magic Man’ believes that McGregor and his team could be the source, and noted that “Conor is the king of bulls**t so I would not be surprised if this Conor having his team put out rumours just to keep his name in the headlines.”

The pair share a grudge following their sparring sessions back in 2017 in the lead-up to McGregor’s mega-money bout versus Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.

The Crumlin light middleweight claims he dropped Malignaggi [36(7)-8(5)], with pictures and then footage of the event being released by UFC boss Dana White. The Italian-American has always stressed that the visit to the canvas was the result of a pushdown and would later be seen in the company of Mayweather where he suggested that he was relaying sparring secrets from his two sessions with McGregor [0-1(1)].

mcgregor malignaggi

Following the Dubliner’s tenth round stoppage loss to ‘Money May’, Malignaggi, who last fought in March 2017, would propose a St Patrick’s Day fight in New York but this would not materialise.

McGregor would instead return to the UFC and was submitted in the fourth round of a lightweight (155lbs) title challenge versus Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October.

A rematch with the Russian was said to be McGregor’s first priority but his coach John Kavanagh revealed afterwards that a return to boxing had also been mooted with both Mayweather and Malignaggi being mentioned.

Soon after this, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn stated that he was interested in promoting a fight between McGregor and regular Sky Sports contributor Malignaggi, revealing that he had reached out to the Irishman’s team – however, again, nothing seemingly came from this.

Recently McGregor has been seen calling out Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa following the youngsters first-round exhibition loss to Mayweather in a lucrative Rizin-backed show on New Year’s Eve


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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