A lot has been said about the heated sparring session between UFC lightweight champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and former welterweight world boxing champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi. Malignaggi stormed out of the McGregor training camp after he accused the Irishman of spreading lies.
McGregor claimed in Instagram posts that he had knocked down Malignaggi. He showed a photo of the boxer getting decked in a sparring session. Malignaggi claims he was pushed down and that the knockdown didn’t come from a punch.
Many fans debated whether or not the photos were authentic. Or staged, or just simply misrepresented. Were they?
How exactly did the McGregor – Malignaggi sparring go?
In many ways, it reflects the actual sentiments about the Mayweather vs McGregor fight. One side believes McGregor will actually do very well while the other side thinks he will get decimated.
Mayweather and McGregor lock horns in less than three weeks, in a scheduled 12-round bout in Las Vegas. It is projected to be the biggest fight of all time and is expected to break almost 6-million pay-per-view buys. The previous best-seller was the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight of 2015, which did just over 4-million.
Malignaggi joined the McGregor camp a few weeks ago to help him with his boxing. Referee Joe Cortez who is overseeing McGregor’s preparations from an official standpoint says things got intense. Fans may recall, Malignaggi was actually calling out McGregor a few months ago to an actual fight. It appears McGregor may have taken these sparring sessions as an opportunity to lay into Malignaggi.
But no one knows for sure what has gone down behind closed doors. Rumor has it that McGregor has a gag order in place for those who have seen the actual sparring. Everything is tight-lipped at this point.
UFC President Dana White releases sparring videos
Fear not dear fans! UFC President Dana White has come to save the day. White put an end to all the debate and actually released clips of the sparring. This includes the most important part, the aforementioned knockdown!
In a series of Instagram posts, White shows McGregor repeatedly tagging Malignaggi with head shots. The second clip, shows Malignaggi did in fact get hit with a punch that caused a knockdown. Puts that debate to rest for sure.
More importantly it shows that McGregor is actually boxing a lot better than many expected. To be able to do that to Malignaggi, known as one of the best technical boxers of his time, speaks volumes. Malignaggi is certainly no slouch. While he isn’t exactly in fighting shape being retired and all, a boxer of his caliber could have done better against McGregor.
Need we remind everyone, McGregor has never boxed a round in his life professionally, let alone spar with top boxers. A lot of people make fun of his boxing, much like they did with Ronda Rousey. Say what you will, but McGregor has a lot of pride going into this fight. And he isn’t just out to make a payday. It seems the Irishman is training to win.