Conor McGregor boxing sparring

Paulie Malignaggi vs Conor McGregor Boxing Sparring

Get ready for some more McGregor Mania! Paulie Malignaggi will no longer be a Conor McGregor boxing sparring partner. His stay was short lived, and things got a little hostile between the two. Some say this is a calculated move by McGregor, others say it’s a huge loss on his part. Nevertheless, it’s an added element to the McGregor/Mayweather money fight drama.

What happened?

Last month, Conor McGregor announced some names that he would be bringing in as sparring partners. These guys range from no-name amateurs to champions. The most notable name on the list was Paulie Malignaggi, a two-time world champion.

Much was made of this decision as Paulie made some harsh comments about Conor’s attempt at boxing back in 2016.

Paulie is hands down the most skilled boxer Conor has have ever duked it out with. Of course, until he meets Floyd on August 26th. A lot of fans following this McGregor/Mayweather story line were hyped to hear they would be working together up until the 26th.

Conor was asked about his decision to bring Malignaggi in during the MayMac Press Tour. Conor replied that he wasn’t bringing in Paulie as a strategist (like some thought), but rather to make him answer for his words.

Paulie originally went out to the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas where Conor has been training for the second half of the camp. The two reportedly sparred for 8 rounds, both putting in some good work. Paulie then flew out of Vegas to help Showtime cover the Broner/Garcia fight. When he came back, the two were set to spar again – this time for 12 rounds. According to comments made on Twitter, the Malignaggi vs Conor McGregor boxing sparring session got heated when Paulie began to get the better of him. However, some pictures were posted of the training session that made McGregor look like he was the one winning the session. Paulie didn’t take to this too well, and left the camp. Paulie addressed the public via his Twitter.

This sounds all too similar to the Chris Van Heerden situation. McGregor sparred Van Heerden, a South African boxing champion, and posted an edited highlight of the video. Of course, the clips were all of Conor’s successful moments, and didn’t include any of Heerden’s moments. Van Heerden backlashed and had the unedited video posted which showed a much more competitive bout.

What does this mean?

Obviously there’s a lot we don’t know, but the speculation and the mystery is why this story is blowing up so big. In the back of my mind, I have to think that none of this has happened by chance. McGregor said originally that he was bringing Paulie in to have a knock and make him eat his words. That’s what they did. Creating a hostile relationship between the two may even be what Conor wants.

When it comes to Conor McGregor, you always have to assume that there are hidden agendas and everything is calculated.

Both sides of the coin are saying that they beat the other guy up. Paulie wants footage of the session to be released. I highly doubt that will happen. Gym secrets tend to remain gym secrets. Plus, Malignaggi was adamant about keeping their sessions under wraps, and now he’s battling to have the McGregor team publish the video.

I’m sure there was some serious miscommunication between the two parties. Paulie knew he was being brought in as a Conor McGregor boxing sparring partner, but maybe he was expecting to have a more prevalent role in the camp. Paulie remarked that he felt they were setting him up from the git-go and looking to take advantage of him. How? I’m not sure.

Paulie Malignaggi is still going to help call the fight, so I’m sure we’ll hear the full story on Aug 26th and the lead up to it.

As far as McGregor’s camp is concerned, I guess it’s business as usual. They still have several sparring partners to choose from, and an exceptional facility to use.

About Casey Hodgin

Casey is a passionate MMA writer and journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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  • Robert Artkin

    You think McGregor really has a shot?

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    • Casey Hodgin

      Stay tuned for my official opinion on the matter, but long-story short – ABSOLUTELY.

      View Comment

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