Retired two-weight champion Paulie Malignaggi has quit his role as a sparring partner for Conor McGregor ahead of the Dubliner’s mega-money showdown with Floyd Mayweather.
In total, the New Yorker sparred 20 rounds with McGregor across two sessions in Las Vegas, however he will not continue up to the August 26th fight night due to “stuff outside the ring.”
Out of respect for boxing ethics, Malignaggi has promised not to give away any salacious details of their sparring ahead of the fight at the T-Mobile Arena, but said that he will reveal his problems with the camp in due course.
One issue though looks to be the selected publication of photos by McGregor’s “personal photographers.” One such photo – released last night by MacLife photographer Dave Fogarty – sees Malignaggi on the canvas, which ‘The Magic Man’ insists came following a “pushdown” from McGregor.
In a series of Tweets sent before the statement, Malignaggi expressed his displeasure with the constant publication of photos that painted him in a negative light, especially the ‘knockdown’ photo.
Indeed Malignaggi has called for the full unedited footage of the pair’s sparring to be released which, he says, would prove that he “beat his ass.”
Malignaggi’s statement in full read:
I just wanted to clear the air. I am leaving the McGregor training camp today. I came with best intentions & intended to help out. Just the chance to be part of such a big event in this capacity excited me. I believe Conor & I have a mutual respect inside the ring, earned from each other with some good work over 2 sparring sessions. It’s some of the stuff outside the ring and some ways some things were handled in training camp that I didn’t agree with that made me come to this decision. It’s not my place to dictate terms in a training camp that is not mine, but it’s my place to decide if I I want to be a part of it. I will not give away anything tactical that I saw in 2 sparring sessions with Conor. For what it’s worth, they have my word. The things that upset me though I will speak about in time. I wish team McGregor well in the rest of their preparations and look forward to being back in Vegas to work fight week on Showtime.
Photo Credit: Dave Fogarty – The Mac Life & Ginger Beard Photography