January 10, 2019
January 10, 2019
Conor McGregor

Esther Lin/Showtime

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AS if it wasn’t tedious enough first time around, the Paulie Malignaggi vs. Conor McGregor pantomime is seemingly set to start up again, as it is reported both are “in talks” over a boxing match in 2019.

According to The Sun, who pass the buck to “multiple sources within boxing and MMA”, talks between McGregor and Malignaggi are apparently ongoing and there’s a chance this fight, no one’s fantasy, could become a reality.

As for the story behind this most improbable – and pointless – of boxing matches, here goes: Malignaggi once teased McGregor about his chances of winning fights in his domain, boxing, and was then later drafted in as a sparring partner when McGregor somehow agreed a deal to box – yes, box – Floyd Mayweather, a boxer, in August 2017. This led to Malignaggi looking to prove a point and McGregor looking to prove a point. It also led to one sparring session in which Malignaggi was apparently dominant and another in which he was apparently dropped.

Then came a photo of Malignaggi on the canvas, posted by McGregor on social media, and all hell broke loose. McGregor claimed the knockdown was caused by a punch, whereas Malignaggi was adamant it had been a push which had led to him being snapped on the seat of his pants.

Later, a video released by UFC top dog Dana White cleared up some of the mystery (it looked to be the result of a punch), but ultimately it all meant very little in the context of Conor McGregor getting taken to school by Floyd Mayweather for nine and a half rounds in Las Vegas.

Malignaggi, tail between his legs, described McGregor as “one of the biggest dirtbags I’ve ever met in my life” and it seemed, in some bizarre way, it was they who should have then shared a boxing ring rather than McGregor and Mayweather. Maybe now, a year and a half later, there’s a chance this could happen. If it does, they’ll get rich, and we’ll get angry (and bored). Save us, Joe Louis.

Conor McGregor


WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says he is about to take Hollywood by storm, having landed his first acting gig, yet has been warned by Lennox Lewis that acting isn’t always the way forward for a heavyweight ruler.

Lewis knows all about allowing Hollywood to take his eye off the ball and then losing his world heavyweight title as a result. He signed up to appear in the 2001 released of ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ alongside Wladimir Klitschko – oh, and George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts – and then surrendered his heavyweight championship to Hasim Rahman in one of the sport’s great upsets not only after filming had wrapped up.

Though he regained the title seven months later, Lewis is now old and wise and honest enough to admit he made a mistake in thinking he could juggle the two. It’s a message he now hopes will be adhered by Wilder, the admittedly charismatic American who will no doubt one day excel on screen.

Posting on social media, Wilder said: “God has Blessed me to be able to do something else that I’m very passionate about and that’s acting. #2019 big things poppin’. Just wait until you see the Champ in Lights, Camera, Action.”

Lewis, not missing a beat, responded by saying: “Be careful there. That acting thing doesn’t always work out for heavyweight champs. Trust me. I know!”

Some have said Wilder’s last fight, a draw against Tyson Fury, wasn’t far off a Rocky movie given the incredible knockdown recovery performed by the Englishman in the final round. But the appearance of The Bronze Bomber in an actual motion picture could, according to a former champion who would know, mean something else entirely.

Deontay Wilder