It’s a feud that has been simmering away for two years now.
When Conor McGregor called up Paulie Malignaggi to his training camp for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr in August 2017, he could not have foretold the fallout that would have the two chomping at the bit to take each other out ever since.
In a typical spar before his Las Vegas show fight, a short clip of video footage appeared to show the Irishman knock Malignaggi clean out.
The former welterweight champion of the world refuted the claims, claiming he was pushed down to the floor, and after leaving Team McGregor he demanded that the full video be released.
And it will, perhaps, given that it is rumoured that Netflix is producing a three-part series about the notorious sparring sessions.
In them, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, attempted to replicate the big fight atmosphere by appointing the legendary referee Joe Cortez to oversee the action, with celebrities sat ringside watching on – hence Malignaggi’s rather defensive attitude towards the video footage.
Kavanagh has also hinted that his man and his nemesis could be set for a sanctioned boxing match in the near future, although Malignaggi has other ideas as to how the action might go down.
Settling The Score
Back in June, the ‘Magic Man’ fought McGregor’s friend and training partner Artem Lobov in a bout sanctioned by the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Prior to the first bell, Malignaggi had claimed he wanted to put Lobov in a coma, as that would help to ‘bait’ McGregor into a subsequent fight.
Well, things didn’t quite work out as planned as the Russian outpointed the 38-year-old.
But there are two things that are sure in life: Conor McGregor loves to fight and he loves to make money.
Normally, Malignaggi’s defeat would have ended any hopes of a clash with the Irishman in any format, be it a boxing match, an MMA contest or a bare-knuckle brawl.
But you suspect McGregor’s ego won’t let this lie, and he will be desperate to get his hands on the Magic Man no matter what the circumstances.
And, given the ability of both to hype a fight, there will be plenty of gold coins in it for them too.
“I will tell you this, Feldman and BKFC have more money than people think and there will be an offer for Conor McGregor,” Malignaggi said when penning his deal with the organization. “If you pay him [McGregor] enough money, he will become your personal piñata and he’s shown that already.”
Lobov dished out the kind of beating that has left Malignaggi claiming he has retired for good, but money talks in the fight game and with the right provocation this is a feud that will surely get settled in the boxing ring – that is the most likely arena given both have previous in the sport.
Indeed, some sportsbooks are offering prices in their latest betting odds, making both men -110 to win the fight. Keep your eyes peeled to the latest boxing and MMA news updates to make sure you don’t miss a thing in the build-up to any potential McGregor vs Malignaggi battle.
Those odds suggest any scrap would be a closely-fought epic, and that only serves to increase the anticipation and the hype yet further.