IN light of the fact they are two men from different sports who will – hopefully – never meet in a competitive environment, Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi have created quite the rivalry.
It started last year with some crossfire on social media. Malignaggi said some stuff; McGregor said some stuff. Most of it concerned an imminent boxing match between McGregor, a UFC champion, and Floyd Mayweather, one of the finest boxing talents of the modern era, and it was all, at that point, just a bit of fun. Malignaggi, like many, assumed it was a freak show of a fight, and said as much, and McGregor, naturally, didn’t agree with him. Fair enough.
But then the rivalry cranked up a notch when Malignaggi, despite his reservations regarding the fight, agreed to help McGregor out with some sparring in the lead up to it. These sparring sessions, different to your typical sparring sessions, became infamous on account of a much-publicised knockdown-pushdown flashpoint, and all of a sudden McGregor vs. Malignaggi became as much a talking point as McGregor vs. Mayweather.