While six years have passed since their infamous spar, Paulie Malignaggi still has it in for Conor McGregor, claiming he’d do a number on his Irish rival in not just a fight, but in the trash-talking department as well.
In 2016, the world stood still as the former UFC champion squared off with boxing legend, Floyd Mayweather, in a crossover bout that caught the imagination of the public. However, as intense as their feud was, it paled in comparison to the hatred shared between McGregor and Malignaggi.
To prepare for Mayweather, the MMA icon drafted in ‘The Magic Man’ in a bid to replicate the boxing great’s style. But while their relationship started off friendly, it soon boiled over, with Malignaggi taking huge issue with a video McGregor posted online.
In a short sparring clip, the Irishman landed a series of powerful shots on the American, even dropping him with a powerful uppercut. Unsurprisingly, the former boxing world champion expressed his displeasure with the footage being shared, and also accused his nemesis of only using his own highlights, claiming that it was actually he who dominated the rounds they shared.
Alas, with the full footage still kept away from the public eye, what actually happened in their spar remains a mystery. And with that being the case, the New York-born fighter is always keen to remind the world that he’d love to make McGrgeor pay for his words.
Paulie Malignaggi slams Conor McGregor
In his storied career, Malignaggi showcased his fighting spirit in abundance. Most notably, the skilful operator produced an awe-inspiring performance to last the distance with Miguel Cotto despite harbouring a nasty broken orbital bone, which inhibited his ability to see.
Therefore, when it comes to heart, the 43-year-old knows what he’s talking about, and in his opinion, this is an area in which his enemy is lacking in.
In an exclusive interview with Action Network, he said: “McGregor was lucky to achieve what he achieved in his career. Physically and talent wise he’s up there, but just because you can do a bunch of high kicks from a Jean Claude Van Dam movie, doesn’t mean you’re a fighter; you need guts, you need a willingness to succeed, you need a willingness to enter the trenches and if you don’t have that, you’re going to fade.”
He continued: “We’ve talked about AJ losing that edge, but McGregor is on a different level. McGregor will quit on you; he does quit. AJ does not take as many risks anymore, but at least he’s not quitting. McGregor is an outright quitter. He is a fighter that was not as good as advertised; there was great marketing behind him. And the money he’s made now isn’t helping, so you’ve got a problem – all he’s going to do is continue to be a punching bag. If you’re a punching bag in your twenties, you’ll definitely be a punching bag in your thirties.”
Paulie Malignaggi believes he’d dominate Conor McGregor in a war of words
Throughout his stint in the professional ranks, Malignaggi was never shy of engaging in mental warfare. And while McGregor is considered one of the best trash-talkers of all time, he believes he more than has the minerals to get the better of the 2x UFC champion.
The boxing icon asserted: “I’m a better trash-talker than McGregor; that’s one of the reasons he did not fight me; I would have trashed him in the press conferences and the fight. It would have ended all of the hysteria around him because I would have destroyed him in the trash-talking and in the ring. I would have ruined the whole aura around him. He was smart not to pull the trigger on a fight with me.”
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