Conor McGregor is slowly creeping up on genius level promotional status. After the historic May Mac World Tour breezed through four cities and three countries in four days, McGregor began an uncanny beef with former two-weight division champion, Paulie Malignaggi.
Malignaggi was brought in for a sparring session ahead of the May Mac World Tour with little to no fanfare. In fact, many only realized this fact after Floyd Mayweather, during the Toronto leg of the tour, mentioned it during an interview with Malignaggi, who is part of the Tour broadcast commentary team.
Floyd Mayweather & Conor McGregor embark on a four-city international press tour to announce their Saturday, Aug. 26 blockbuster on SHOWTIME PPV. Watch the second press conference on Wednesday, July 12 at 5:30pm ET live from the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, Canada.
During the interview with Malignaggi, Brian Custer, and Brendan Schaub, Mayweather commended Malignaggi on a great career and thanked him for working with McGregor to get him ready for the bout.
Mayweather has closely monitored the progression of his opponent’s acclimation to professional boxing. He is obviously concerned with McGregor following the Queensbury rules of boxing, and details like training partners and referees during camp have been points of triumph during McGregor’s camp to him.
However, McGregor’s willingness to enter the world of boxing and immerse himself in the culture belies his obvious penchant to set up future bouts while promoting his current bout. After the World Tour, Malignaggi was invited back to spar with McGregor and the results became international headlines.
Malignaggi left the camp citing subpar accommodations, but mainly a betrayal of what he felt was the innate trust between a marquee fighter and his training partners. That betrayal came in the form of social media shenanigans and video editing that Malignaggi claims slanted the second sparring session in McGregor’s favor.
When the internet got a hold of the footage, Malignaggi looked bad and the mechanics of a push down versus a knock down became the rally around the McGregor promotion. As the fans took sides and the McGregor myth grew, it is almost a certainty that the two should and will fight in the future.
With Paulie now a bonafide color commentator and as ornery as ever over being ridiculed as a fallen fighter, the potential for a match up post-Mayweather is very likely.
Paulie Malignaggi confronts Conor McGregor as he arrives in Las Vegas for Floyd Mayweather. Please Like the video and Subscribe to the channel for more daily MMA content: http://www.youtube.com/user/Skip2MyMMA?sub_confirmation=1
Then came the fighter arrivals when Malignaggi approached McGregor’s manager, Audie Attar and was met by McGregor himself. The two engaged in some light verbal sparring in front of the salivating media, where Malignaggi repeatedly asked McGregor, “but did you bring your balls, Conor?”
The tirade kept the drama unfolding between the two even during the big show fight week.
“Paulie has always been my friend…listen, this is going to stay in Paulie’s family forever…don’t worry, Paulie…me and Paulie gonna stay at the house and talk about strategy…thank you for going over there like I asked you to do,” stated undefeated future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather, who got a visit from former world champion Paulie Malignaggi during his final workout ahead of his highly-anticipated mega-fight with Conor McGregor.
Yesterday, Malignaggi and Mayweather did a video with FightHype, where Mayweather claims to have sent Paulie to McGregor’s camp ahead of time to find out the strategy. This comes in the wake of Malignaggi stating multiple times that he would never reveal strategy as it is unethical.
All signs point to Mayweather backing Paulie in the future in a potential grudge match against McGregor.
UFC President, Dana White has been wearing a conspicuous t-shirt emblazoned with “Zuffa Boxing” on the front while acting as the sole promoter of McGregor during the press tour. All MMA fans know that White is a boxing fan first and MMA second. The Octagon made him millions and in the aftermath of the historic $4 billion sale of the UFC to WME the shirt has to be indicative of his future.
UFC Fight Pass, a streaming service, has been branding Dana White a lot lately with his “Looking For A Fight” series co-hosted by Din Thomas and Matt Serra and the “Dana White Contender Series” on Tuesdays, where upstarts can prove they belong in the UFC.
The next step would be to take the singular approach that boxing provides and align with his “unicorn” in McGregor. The partnership beyond the Mayweather fight would give McGregor the much needed additional capital and power brokering ability in Las Vegas.
Of course, this is all speculation, but after a fight this big it is almost a certainty that both White and McGregor would like to keep the boxing world’s attention together.