Paulie Malignaggi talked a mean game before his dance with Conor McGregor…
Former two-weight world boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi found himself in a strange spot last week. Hired by Showtime as a pre-presser analyst of the upcoming Mayweather vs. McGregor clash, the pro boxer had some strong opinions.
Having declared he’d ‘knock the beard off’ Conor McGregor, ‘Magic Man’ quickly got a response from the UFC champ. ‘The Notorious’ promised there would be a sparring session with Malignaggi.
Paulie accepted the invite to the Irishman’s training camp, and yesterday this image emerged on McGregor’s Instagram:
Mind Games or Mad Skills?
Has McGregor’s boxing improved that much, or are he and Paulie in cahoots trying to sell ‘wolf tickets’ as Nick Diaz would say? It does appear strange that a pro boxer, still active at that, would alllow a UFC fighter to publish a somewhat degrading image on his social media.
Either way, it’s out there now, and Malignaggi has spoken about what happened during their sparring knock:
‘It Was a Fight’
Courtesy of MMAFighting.com, here’s Paulie’s take on the apparently heated sparring session with McGregor:
“He’s got a game plan behind it,” Malignaggi said. “It’s not what people think. There’s a game plan behind what he’s doing. There’s a method to Conor’s madness.”
“It was educational,” said Malignaggi, who added that he had no expectations coming in. “There was a lot of trash talking, which me and him both known to have a little bit. Like I said, we did eight good rounds of work. It was physical work and Conor is coming along.”
“In a championship camp, the sparring is intense, so I didn’t expect to go in there and it be a picnic,” Malignaggi said. “He’s a competitor, I’m a competitor. We went in there and there was a lot of trash talking right away. There was a lot of fighting right away. In the end, you look back on it was kind of fun. I don’t have everybody that can match my trash talking, but Conor definitely can. So it was making it a lot of fun.”
Continue reading Paulie’s comments below…
“You come into the situation already knowing Conor has a big left hand,” Malignaggi said of Mayweather’s likely mindset. “So if you’re fighting Conor, you’re probably gonna prepare for that left hand. So obviously Conor is working on other things besides the left hand, so that there could be a surprise element to it, too.”
“Without giving away too much, he’s effective at what he’s doing,” Malignaggi said of McGregor said. “There’s a method behind the madness. He and his team are working at it. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining and fun.”