The spurned ex-sparring partner dishes on everything that happened inside Conor McGregor’s camp (not the ring) in preparation for Floyd Mayweather.
To say Paulie Malignaggi is still upset about the way things went at Conor McGregor’s training camp for Floyd Mayweather is an understatement.
The retired two division boxing champion was flown in from New York to spar with McGregor, and according to him, he went in with nothing but good intentions. Those intentions were not returned, and in an hour plus rant on the latest MMA Hour Paulie laid out the case for McGregor and his team being total scumbags.
The issues range from putting him and other sparring partners up in “some sort of crackhouse that’s barely been renovated a little bit” to springing unusually long sparring sessions on him, always the day after he got off a plane. Paulie pretty much didn’t like anything he saw surrounding the two sessions they ended up having.
“This guy is all about his ego,” Malignaggi said. “He’s actually not trying to get better. He’s got a bunch of yes men in his corner who tell him he’s doing good even if he’s doing bad. It’s all about that, he always thinks he’s doing good even when he’s not. It’s just about him and cheerleading.”
Malignaggi went further into detail on the straw that broke the camel’s back: pictures from their second session that implied Conor knocked Paulie down.
“The way sparring went on Tuesday was this: he hung tough for five rounds, but he had to work harder than he wanted to,” Paulie explained. “I had more purpose, I was sharper, I was hitting the body. He was landing some good shots too. In those early rounds, he was hanging tough. From six onwards he started becoming very hittable. Started becoming so hittable that I was putting more weight on my shots, and of course the body shots started affecting more and more.”
“The thing about the alleged knock down, it was during one of his worst moments. He pushed me down on the floor to try and catch a break. The instant I went down, I got up, and I remember I continued to trash talk, I said ‘Sup buddy, you needed a break?’ … And I started taking it right to him right after that, saying ‘There’s no breaks here, you don’t get no breaks.’ And I hit him with more body shots, I said ‘Take those, they don’t feel good.’ So I started hearing a whimper with the body shots too.”
Afterwards, Malignaggi complained to McGregor about an earlier photo from their first session that had leaked.
“I said ‘Conor, just give me a favor, bro. No more of these crazy pictures.’ Because the week before … all everyone wanted to know was about these pictures. … I said I don’t want to talk about sparring anyway, but it’s hard not to disclose the NDA when you’re putting up pictures of me.
“I am not one of your other sparring partners. Nobody knows who the other sparring partners are. Everyone knows who I am. So when you put up a picture of me in sparring, the media is going to come to me and I’m going to have to answer questions I don’t wanna deal with.
“I want to help you out, but not at my expense. I also have to figure out how to do it without making myself look bad now because you’re putting me in compromising positions with these pictures.”
The next morning, McGregor texted Malignaggi the photo of him down on the canvas. That photo would later end up online along with a couple more, prompting Paulie to leave the camp and start his media tour ripping into McGregor.
That’s something that’s not likely to end any time soon, with Malignaggi promoting his podcast and promising to get his side of the story out some more before letting the whole affair go. And of course there’s also the fact that Paulie is part of Showtime’s commentary team for the Mayweather-McGregor fight … or at least for now he is.