As many had expected, former two division champion Paulie Malignaggi is ready to dust off the gloves, sober up Peter Cards, and get in the ring with UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
Malignaggi, who retired from boxing earlier this year, was hired as a sparring partner by McGregor, who is preparing to make his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
And the two of them had a bad falling out.
Malignaggi became enraged after members of McGregor's team released images of the most recent sparring session on social media.
The images painted what Malignaggi claimed was a "dishonest" picture of the sparring session - as one image showed Malignaggi down on the mat from a claimed knockdown and other images showed him taking punishment.
Once the images came out, Malignaggi immediately quit McGregor's camp.
Then UFC President Dana White released hand-picked video clips from the sparring session. One clip showed a debatable knockdown of Malignaggi and the other had McGregor doing damage.
McGregor has claimed in several interviews that Malignaggi took a beating that was so severe, that everyone was worried about him because he was stumbling around even hours after the sparring session.
Malignaggi is now ready to settle things in the ring.
“He constantly puts me in the press with these edited videos, edited pictures and whatnot. Now, it’s picked up a ton of momentum,” said Malignaggi to MMA Fighting. “So yeah. So now the bad blood is there. Now, we’ve gotta fight.”
Malignaggi is not sure when a fight like this could happen - because if Mayweather badly dominates the contest next Saturday night, then the majority of the viewing public will lose interest in watching McGregor box again.
Malignaggi will be ringside, as part of the Showtime Pay-Per-View broadcast team.
“I don’t know [when it could happen]. It’s not up to me. Right now, I’m focused on how he looks against Mayweather,” said Malignaggi. “If he looks like dog sh*t against Mayweather, I don’t think anybody is gonna want to see him box again.”