Paulie Malignaggi retired in 2017 after a great career fighting in the 140 and 147 divisions against some of the world’s best.
Recently, Malignaggi announced a deal with the BKFC (Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship), a newly-formed fighting organization.
The news came on back of rumors of a battle with Conor McGregor after Malignaggi famously became a part of the training camp leading up to the UFC star’s defeat to Floyd Mayweather.
When asked about a possible McGregor future fight, Malignaggi spoke to WBN at Monday’s Ultimate Boxxer press conference.
“I don’t know. Everyone loves asking me that question but I think it’s getting to the point where somebody needs to ask him (Conor) the hard questions. Nobody seems to be asking him these hard questions.
“Everyone becomes a Conor McGregor fan instead of a Conor McGregor media person when they’re in front of him. They don’t want to ask him these questions,” Malignaggi exclusively told World Boxing News.
After a sparring session between the two, Malignaggi made the decision to leave the training camp. Since then, Malignaggi was annoyed by photos and clips released by Team McGregor.
Malignaggi was irked that McGregor didn’t show the full sparring video.
“That’s the point, everybody’s asking me these questions as if I have the video. But I can tell you until I turn blue what happened that day,” pointed out ‘The Magic Man’.
“If you want to ask the questions, he’s the one putting out clips to try and reheat things every few months. So then, I get asked the questions all over again.
“I think there comes a time for the media to go and ask Conor the hard questions, instead of being a fan of his.
“He’s basically becoming a punching bag anyway, It’s nothing to respect. It’s not like you have to go up to him and walk on eggshells and how you ask him the question.”
Conor McGregor hasn’t yet made a promised return to the boxing ring since his TKO10 loss to Mayweather. Instead, he decided to return to the UFC where he suffered another loss on his record.
Picking at these key bits of information, Malignaggi told WBN: “He’s combat sports punching bag. Everybody’s been beating up all over the place in the last year. So there isn’t a respect factor at any point that you have to tread lightly. (Don’t) be careful of what you’re asking, ask him straight up!
“Keep asking me, just ask him because it’s got to a certain point. You’ve (Conor) brought it up, Paulie’s brought it up. Social media posts keep popping up so let’s see the full thing.”
An edited section of the infamous sparring video showed Malignaggi being dropped by McGregor as well as a few combinations landed on the retired American.
The full sparring video has not been released. It will turn two years old this summer and is yet to see the light of day.
“We don’t have to fight. I understand Conor’s fear but we don’t have to fight. Upload the full spar, unedited and untouched and let people decide for themselves.
“You do know I was coming off a cross country flight less than 24 hours before. You do know that I was retired and therefore not training. Also, you do know that you have to watch that with an open mind.
“Otherwise it gets stopped and we don’t go 12 rounds. You’ve got to know that you can’t take a beating if you’re out of shape. If I take a twelve round beating, how do I go twelve rounds? – You have to be in better shape to take that.
“I can give all these explanations. They are humble explanations, but it gets a bit tedious after a while. You have to ask him more so than you ask me.”
After almost two years, the fight still gains interest with McGregor’s fan base keen to see him rise to new challenges.
Malignaggi’s entrance to bare-knuckle could be that new challenge.
“Of course, you got to offer Conor enough money for him to become a piñata. That’s what he’s shown us. If you offer Conor enough money he’ll be your personal piñata. I think he’s shown that the last few years.
“BKFC have more money than people realize. I think they’re willing to offer him enough money to be as my personal piñata.
“It’s just a matter of does he have the guts to take the deal because there won’t be any more money offered to him anymore.
“The money there is more than what he is going to make in the UFC. But that’s including that it would be a good fight.
“We’ll see,” he concluded.
BT Sport will broadcast the Ultimate Boxxer series live on TV and YouTube, starting on Friday 10th May from The O2
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller