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Eddie Hearn Names 'Missed Opponent' Conor McGregor Could Have Faced In Crossover Fight

Eddie Hearn Names 'Missed Opponent' Conor McGregor Could Have Faced In Crossover Fight

Eddie Hearn believes that a fight between Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi would have been "decent" before the Irishman decided to fight Floyd Mayweather.

Malignaggi, 39, was a member of the McGregor camp for the 2017 Mayweather fight before leaving after photos emerged from a controversial sparring session.

The former boxing star has continued his rivalry with McGregor, despite a fight between the pair unlikely to happen now.

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And Irish superstar McGregor, who announced his shock MMA retirement in June, has also pulled no punches towards Malignaggi on social media.

However, the 41-year-old Matchroom chief touched on McGregor's boxing crossover and felt that a bout with Malignaggi "would actually have been a decent fight."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Credit: PA
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Hearn explained: "I still love Dillian Whyte against Francis Ngannou. Two big, big guys; two big strikers and I think that's actually one that can be done in the ring and in the cage. You can almost have, like, a two-legged fight there where Ngannou steps in the boxing ring and then Dillian Whyte goes into the cage.

"I think that's a great fight. All these guys... I think all boxers watch MMA and they would love to have a crack at it. And I think the MMA guys look at boxing and think, 'Yeah, I could take him out.'

"So there is definitely the intrigue from fighters, you know, to step up and get involved in that kind of fight.

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"You know when Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi were sort of calling each other out years ago, I always felt that as a boxing match with Paulie, admittedly and by his own admission at the end of his career, would actually have been a decent fight.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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"The fact is Conor stepped up against one of the greatest fighters of all time and, of course, was outclassed. But he was always going to be outclassed. What do you expect? It was his first pro fight.

"I do like the heavyweights and I really feel that if Dana [White] wanted to do it that Dillian Whyte and Ngannou was a fight that could be made and there was interest in there.

"Unfortunately for me, I reached out to his manager and did some kind of, like, e-press conference, then spoke to Dana who told me off, so I took it down.

"But if he ever wanted to do it in the future, then we would be all up for that and I think there's a lot of interest, particularly for the Middle East, for that fight."

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Eddie was talking to SPORTbible for the launch of 2K Games' new Mafia: Definitive Edition, available from today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. Mafia: Definitive Edition is a comprehensive, built-from-the-ground-up remake of the original Mafia, featuring all-new gameplay sequences and features, best-in-class cinematics, an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories and additional cutscenes. For more information head to: mafiagame.com/buy


Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Conor Mcgregor, Boxing News, Notorious, UFC News, MMA News, Paulie Malignaggi, Boxing, Eddie Hearn, UFC, MMA

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]