Coach Kavanagh just revealed some information regarding an MMA bout between Conor and Paulie…
Conor McGregor is always looking for a big fight. According to his longtime head coach, Jon Kavanagh, one fight Conor wants is Paulie Malignaggi. Conor doesn’t want to fight him in a boxing ring, however, he wants him inside the octagon.
Many have speculated that Paulie has been trying to bait Conor into a big-money boxing match even from the beginning. Fighters trying to earn “red panty” nights from Conor are nothing new. By the sounds of it, Paulie is pretty close to earning his.
Conor’s Camp Took Exception to Paulie Malignaggi From Day One
Kavanagh recently spoke about how Paulie rubbed people the wrong way almost immediately in Conor’s camp.
After just one sparring session with Conor, Malignaggi was fielding interviews. It was not exactly the discretion the camp had expected from him.
“It wasn’t just general stuff explaining how he was part of the camp. He had to go back to New York to do some promotion for the Andre Ward fight, and straightaway he was disrespecting (McGregor’s) power.
“He was saying this and that, and I was thinking, ‘What are you doing, you have to come back here and spar Conor in seven days?’”
That Malignaggi was making statements about Conor’s power after just one session is either a case of Paulie forgetting professional conduct standards or he was already trying to bait Conor to face him. Even from the outset, it appears Paulie and Conor’s team were at odds.
“This guy is a former world champion, he should know that you should keep your mouth shut until the fight is over – then write a book, then do fifty interviews,” Kavanagh said.
“That would have been no problem, we would have no issue with that. But you can’t go the next day and the day after that and the day after that, and start giving away ideas we have.
“That’s what threw me off, he wasn’t acting like a professional.”
John Kavanagh on Conor Wanting Paulie in the Octagon
According to further comments from Conor’s coach, Paulie did enough to get Conor considering the idea of facing him. The only problem is that Conor appears to only be interested in facing Paulie in an MMA cage.
When the topic of Conor facing Paulie in the cage came up at a recent media event in Dublin, Kavanagh had this to say.
“Conor wanted that,” Kavanagh said in reference to a Conor vs. Paulie MMA bout.
“He said to me, ‘Let’s get him in the Octagon’, and I said that there was no way that he would fight in MMA. You’ve got to be able to prove yourself in the arena.”
Kavanagh on Likelihood of Conor vs. Paulie
While Conor McGregor appears enthusiastic about possibly taking on Paulie in an MMA cage, Kavanagh does not see the bout as likely to be made.
“When Conor wanted a boxing license they could look at the Diaz 2 fight where there was more or less 25 minutes of boxing. Why would Paulie go to MMA? He’d never go to MMA.
“Now, Conor could tweet now and say ‘I’m fighting Paulie Malignaggi’, and I guess I would be wrong then.”
Why would Paulie go to MMA? A red-panty night sounds like a pretty good reason, coach!