Last year, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather flipped the combat sports world upside down with their boxing bout in Las Vegas. It was the first time the biggest star in all of boxing, and the biggest star in mixed martial arts went toe-to-toe in any form of combat.
However, in the midst of the circus act, McGregor planted a seed for his return to the squared circle even before making the walk to fight Mayweather. In his training camp for “Money,” McGregor sought the services of former WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. Malignaggi came into the McGregor camp as a quality sparring partner to give McGregor some hard rounds before fighting Mayweather.
During one of their exchanges, McGregor hit Malignaggi with a shot that appeared to drop the former WBA champ. However, Malignaggi claims McGregor attempted to elevate himself by building off something that was nothing more than a trip. Despite the footage being released for all to see, there’s still controversy as to exactly what happened.
Regardless, Malignaggi felt slighted by the entire ordeal and has wanted to fight McGregor ever since. Speaking at a recent media event to promote the upcoming Tony Bellew vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight, Malignaggi was asked about fighting McGregor. Top boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was there as well and expressed interest in promoting the potential fight.
Hearn said that he has actually contacted McGregor’s team about the fight, and told them he’d “float the numbers to them”:
“That’s what I said to him (Malignaggi) this morning,” Hearn said. “I’d love to do it, DAZN. Oh, they’d pay a lot of money for that fight. I said to Conor McGregor’s guys, I’m gonna float the numbers to them and see what they think.
“As I said to Conor McGregor’s guys, maybe he can beat Paulie Malignaggi. I don’t know. I don’t think he beats Khabib. He has been living a good life since he has been retired, so you never know how he’ll be coming back. But I’ll say one thing, it is a good fight.”