Paulie Malignaggi, former boxing world champion and one of Conor McGregor’s most bitter rivals, has some scathing remarks for former UFC double-champion.
Malignaggi and McGregor’s relationship went to tatters back in 2017 during the buildup of McGregor vs. Mayweather. McGregor used select sparring footage of himself and Malignaggi to build his stock and create hype for the upcoming fight – something Malignaggi vehemently despised, and still does to this day.
Speaking to Action Network, Malignaggi remarked that his rival is a quitter, comparing him to boxing superstar Anthony Joshua:
“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.
“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.”
Malignaggi rounded off his comments by explaining that McGregor is wise not to challenge him to a boxing match:
“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.”
The feud between McGregor and Malignaggi seems endless. McGregor has already achieved his goal of using Malignaggi’s sparring footage, so there is no benefit for him anymore. Therefore, Malignaggi’s words are more or less in vain.
Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
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