About three months removed from the mega-fight Boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, one would think that all of the drama and boxing speculation concerning Conor was over with. However after a recent development in the world of the UFC and Boxing management, we could be closer to another McGregor boxing match then we previously thought.
According to Former Pro Boxing Champion and Showtime Boxing Commentator Paulie Malignaggi, talks are currently underway between management teams from both parties, indicating that a potential boxing match between Malignaggi and McGregor could be in the works. Now the opinion on this is split, with most fans not too excited about this match-up. However the money for this fight could be big, not Mayweather big but when you talk about Conor McGregor, you're talking about the UFC's and essentially, the world's, greatest draw. There would be definite financial incentives for both fighters to step in the ring against each other soon, but the question remains: Is this fight a legitimate possibility?
First let's take a look at the drama between McGregor and Malignaggi, one of the main reasons why the former Boxing champion wants the fight in the first place. Prior to his fight with Mayweather during his training camp, Conor had reached out to Paulie, asking him to help with sparring to help him prepare better for his upcoming debut.
At first Paulie was open to this idea, happy that Conor would go to him for such advice, but after his time with Conor he quickly stated that "there was no way this guy is that much of an a**hole."
What happened was during one of the sparring sessions Conor had with Paulie, he actually knocked Paulie down. There is some debate over this, as some say it was a slip, Paulie himself is quoted calling it a "push down". But the video shows what seems to be a good couple shots from McGregor on Paulie, one of which seemed to clip him enough to cause him to fall down, even causing the referee they brought in to call a brief stop, which could be considered a knockdown.
Later on, 4 days before the fight when both fighters landed in Las Vegas for the fight, there was a brief confrontation between Paulie and Conor, where according to Badlefthook.com writer Wil Esco, the following took place:
"Malignaggi first started in an exchange with McGregor's manager which quickly prompted McGregor to come over and approach Malignaggi directly. The two exchanged some not-so-nice pleasantries at close quarters before Malignaggi was accosted by local police like some out of control fanboy."
Yes this was a strange encounter between the fighters but it is relevant to this fight nonetheless. The facts are as such: Paulie brought up the sparring sessions and McGregor told Paulie to "get over it". The noise behind them blocks some of it out and then the Police come and try to apprehend Paulie, to which he nonchalantly tells one of the officers, "I'm a fighter, relax!"A comically awkward situation that further escalated the feud between the two.
However now, this brings us to today and the latest developments in a potential fight between the two. It wouldn't be too far fetched, as the build-up practically writes itself. Conor and Paulie clash in sparring, both claim different stories, why not settle it in front of the world on Pay-per-View?
While this could be a decent match-up and a fight that has legitimate resentment behind it, the facts as of late are also in favor of this actually happening. In a video interview with Fighthype.com, Paulie Malignaggi confirmed that his manager, high-profile boxing adviser and manager Al Haymon, was having talks with McGregor's management to try and see if a fight could be arranged.
"I know Al Haymon's talking with Dana White. I know they're speaking so if they want the fight they'll make it. You know, I don't need to do all that because Al Haymon makes anything he wants happen, happen. The only way this doesn't happen — once I spoke to Team Haymon and they told me they were on board to make this fight I knew they only way it wouldn't happen is if this guy doesn't have absolutely any balls to make it."
Although McGregor will definitely have his 155 lb UFC title stripped if he abandons the potential fight with Tony Ferguson for the Lightweight title unification, Malignaggi also expressed that he wouldn't care if McGregor had other business to take care of first, but also that this fight with him is a must-take.
"Even if it's not the next fight, even if it's an MMA fight in his next fight, there's no way he should be walking away from this fight unless he has no balls."
Overall this fight is looking very realistic the more details begin to surface. For all we know, this could be some elaborate ruse put together by Paulie and Conor in order to make another huge fight in boxing in the wake of the Mayweather fight.
However the resentment between these two looks very real and the fact is that the sparring tape is one of the biggest factors in the motivation between his fight. Not only does Conor have another shot at boxing lined up, he could build his stock as a boxer with a win over a former Champion in Malignaggi.
In terms of what's at stake for Paulie, the one thing on his mind is most likely setting the record straight in terms of who is the better boxer, and it is clear that the financial part of this fight isn't as much of a concern as it was to Mayweather. It is likely that more details will surface soon and that we could get news of a fight between these two, or denial of that idea,sooner than later.