Former boxer Paulie Malignaggi asserted that he would have emerged victorious if he had faced Conor McGregor in a boxing match. The two athletes crossed paths years ago during McGregor's high-profile crossover bout with Floyd Mayweather, generating immense attention and one of the biggest pay-per-view events in history.
McGregor's journey into boxing saw him engage in extensive sparring sessions, including with Malignaggi, sparking a long-standing feud between the two fighters. Malignaggi, known for his sharp tongue, believes that his superior trash-talking abilities would have dismantled McGregor both in pre-fight press conferences and in the ring.
"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," Malignaggi stated in an interview with Action Network. "It would have ended all of the hysteria around him because I would have destroyed him in the trash-talking and in the ring. He was smart not to pull the trigger on a fight with me."
Malignaggi didn't hold back in his assessment of McGregor's fighting prowess, emphasizing the importance of determination and grit in a true fighter.
He stated, "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."
Continuing his critique, Malignaggi compared McGregor to other fighters and questioned the Irishman's resilience in the face of adversity.
"We've talked about A.J. (Anthony Joshua) 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."
Malignaggi concluded by expressing concern about McGregor's future in the sport, suggesting that without a change in approach, McGregor might become a "punching bag" in the long run.