Much has been made of the uproar between Conor McGregor and Showtime analyst Paulie Malignaggi. It doesn’t appear to be enough of a blow-up, however, to lure UFC president Dana White immediately back into the boxing biz.
Malignaggi is a former world boxing champion who was enlisted by McGregor’s camp to spar with the Irishman in preparation for his “money fight” with Floyd Mayweather, which takes place on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
As much as Malignaggi was prepared to help the UFC champion to get ready for the ring, he wasn’t ready for the public postulations that McGregor dominated him in sparring, including leaked footage of a claim that McGregor knocked him down.
Regardless, the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight is shaping up to be the biggest fight in combat sports history. It was supposed to be a “one-off,” according to White. But with the McGregor’s popularity skyrocketing, is it time for the UFC’s brash boss to reconsider future crossover bouts between his fighters and boxers?
“No, I’m not licking my chops at all to do more boxing events. I’m ready to get back to business on Sunday,” he said following Wednesday’s final Mayweather vs. McGregor pre-fight press conference.
The heat between McGregor and Malignaggi has the public perception in motion that it could be a logical next fight for McGregor if he returns to the squared circle, but White doesn’t even sound interested in that fight.
Although a reporter suggested McGregor vs. Malignaggi could easily do a million pay-per-view buys, White is not on board. “I saw that fight already.”
For now, White is just hoping to make it through Mayweather vs. McGregor and then focus on luring the UFC’s biggest star back to the Octagon.
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