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Conor McGregor’s furious ex-sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi is determined to land a fight with the UFC star.
Malignaggi even says his manager, Al Haymon, is “talking to [UFC president] Dana White” regarding a boxing rules bout.
McGregor has contested 24 professional mixed martial arts fights but took a hiatus from the sport so he could challenge Floyd Mayweather in a mega-money showdown in August.
McGregor enlisted Malignaggi as a sparring partner, but their training relationship lasted less than a week as the former two-weight world champion boxer was irritated by leaked video footage that appeared to show McGregor beat Malignaggi up.
He now wants to settle their dispute in the ring and says if McGregor turns down the challenge then it proves “he has no balls.”
Malignaggi told Fight Hype: “I know Al Haymon’s talking to Dana White. If they want the fight, they’ll make it. The only way it doesn’t happen [is] if this guy doesn’t have any balls.”
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McGregor was expected to return to the UFC octagon after his fight with Mayweather. White even mentioned that Tony Ferguson’s UFC interim lightweight championship winning performance over Kevin Lee merited a big-money fight with Conor McGregor.
But Malignaggi says a boxing rules bout with him will earn McGregor a greater payday than any other UFC fight.
“This fight will pay him more, this fight will get him more exposure – this fight is a bigger fight than anything else he has,” Malignaggi said. “There’s no more Mayweather fight, this is the biggest fight there is.”