Conor McGregor is busy training for his upcoming mega-match-up against Floyd Mayweather, and since this bout will be contested in the realm of boxing, the Irish superstar has brought in some “name” boxers to spar with.
Now, I know the culture of MMA pretty well, but I don’t know boxing. Therefore, I have no clue what’s normal when you put all those big egos in one room. In MMA, everyone just beats on everyone, and presumably what happens in the training room stays in the training room. What happens in boxing?
Boxer Paulie Malignaggi laced up the gloves and put McGregor through his paces, but now there’s drama. Here’s ESPN with the news:
Retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi, hired to be a sparring partner for UFC star Conor McGregor, told ESPN he won’t continue and likely will fly home after photos surfaced Thursday appearing to show McGregor in a favorable light in Tuesday’s 12-round session.
McGregor, who is scheduled to face Floyd Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) in the boxing ring on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena, had twice used Malignaggi, a former two-weight world champion, as a sparring partner.
“I wanted to be part of this event, but I didn’t want to become the story, and that’s what this has turned into,” Malignaggi told ESPN by phone Thursday night. “I won’t release any information about his game plan or what he’s working on — I wouldn’t do that. But this has become a fiasco. It’s a circus.
“And I do want that sparring video released. The UFC’s PI definitely has that video. I understand it can’t come out now, but Conor, if you have any balls, release what really happened.”
On Wednesday, Malignaggi described Tuesday’s session as having “a lot of violence.” He also said he went into the session with a chip on his shoulder because McGregor invited a small audience to watch.