Remember when nobody in the MMA world knew who Paulie Malignaggi was? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Unfortunately, that time is long gone after the largely one sided feud that went down between Malignaggi and McGregor leading up to the Floyd Mayweather superfight.
The story goes like this: McGregor, unimpressed with comments Malignaggi made about his chances in boxing, brought Paulie on as a training partner for the Mayweather fight. Paulie thought he was going in to teach Conor, but instead found himself being slotted into long hard spars with the UFC double champ.
Photos of the sessions leaked, showing Paulie on his ass with McGregor standing over him. An angry Malignaggi left the camp soon after and spent a month telling every news outlet he schooled McGregor. Selected clips released by UFC president Dana White seemed to show the opposite.
Malignaggi never seemed to get over being punked by McGregor for publicity, and now he’s back at trying to make an actual fight with Conor happen. Off The Ball spoke with Paulie, who suggested a winner take all boxing match.
”There’s no other fight he can make that he makes more money than he does fighting me,” Malignaggi said. “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?”
”[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.
Of course, Malignaggi doesn’t want anything to do with McGregor in the Octagon.
”In boxing I’d be interested in it,” he said. “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 hospitalize him and I’d make him go home broke too.”
Unfortunately for Malignaggi, we don’t think he has the stature to draw McGregor back to boxing. That 10th round loss to Floyd Mayweather is a nifty optical illusion that positions Conor higher in the boxing world than he has any right to be. Even discussing a fight with Malignaggi lowers his stock, because educated boxing fans know Paulie would probably win. Just like we know Malignaggi would get thunder-stomped in the cage.
McGregor’s no dummy. If he’s going to lose in the ring again it’s gotta be against a legend. And as respected as Malignaggi was in his day by serious boxing fans, he’s no Mayweather, Pacquiao, or De La Hoya.