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13th Oct 2017

Al Haymon has reached out to Dana White to make McGregor vs. Malignaggi a reality

We'd love to know how that conversation went

Darragh Murphy

Stranger things have definitely and recently happened.

There was a point in time not so long ago when a boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather was written off as a far-fetched publicity stunt which would never actually come to fruition but, on August 26, the ludicrous match-up became a reality.

Money is the great decider in combat sports and that’s why nobody should dismiss the potential meeting of former sparring partners, McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi.

Malignaggi basically hasn’t stopped tweeting since leaving the Irishman’s training camp in unceremonious circumstances over the summer, after footage of a session in which Malignaggi was dropped was made public.

The fact that ‘The Notorious’ picked up at least a couple of rounds against Mayweather on August 26 led many fans to believe that McGregor would fare better in a boxing bout against more realistic competition, rather than the greatest defensive fighter of all time.

The storyline is there, considering the ongoing bad blood between McGregor and Malignaggi. That fight would presumably be slightly more competitive than McGregor vs. Mayweather. And there would be more than enough money there. These are facts.

A former two-weight world champion, Malignaggi has made it abundantly clear that he would be more than happy to come out of retirement for a grudge match with McGregor.

And, on Thursday night, he revealed that his advisor Al Haymon had already been in touch with UFC President Dana White.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see McGregor and Malignaggi share a ring at some point in the future but it’s not likely next on the agenda for the reigning UFC lightweight champion, who has several intriguing options available for him in the Octagon.

A unification bout with newly crowned interim champ Tony Ferguson will apparently be next up for McGregor, before he almost certainly completes his trilogy with Stockton rival Nate Diaz. There would also be a voracious appetite and plenty of cash in a welterweight clash with Georges St-Pierre.

And why not put a profitable bow on a stunning career with one last trip to the boxing ring to close out his feud with Malignaggi?