Malignaggi suggests that he has told Mayweather some McGregor sparring secrets


The McGregor-Malignaggi saga has taken another twist ahead of the Irishman’s pro boxing debut this weekend.

On Saturday Conor McGregor fights five-weight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in a mega-money clash at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

During his camp at the UFC Performance Institute, ‘The Notorious’ drafted in retired two-weight champ Paulie Malignaggi for sparring.

The New Yorker had called out McGregor last year, but subsequently retired following his loss to Sam Eggington in March.

The addition of Malignaggi to the camp was seen as a coup for McGregor, with ‘The Magic Man’ having forged a reputation for himself as a top boxing brain and looking like a perfect boxing adviser for a team without a specialised boxing coach.

However, it soon became apparent that McGregor wanted the American in for fights rather than spars, perhaps looking to punish him for his call-outs.

The pair sparred 20 rounds across two sessions, with Malignaggi acrimoniously leaving after their second spar, a twelve round affair.

The 36 year old cited the posting of a series of compromising photos, the final straw being a snap showing him on the canvas. Malignaggi claimed it was a pushdown not a knockdown. UFC President Dana White would later post footage of the incident, but the true cause of the visit to the floor remains up for debate.

Many argued that Malignaggi had breached boxing ethics for undertaking numerous interviews about the spars before his departure, however he would claim that this was due to the media rush that accompanied the publication of the aforementioned photos.

Malignaggi had said that he planned to speak about their sessions during the live broadcast on Showtime PPV – initially as an added insight, but later looking likely to become a tell-all.

However, recent posts from the American seem to suggest that he has provided opponent Mayweather with some insider info ahead of the light middleweight clash.

An Instagram photo set captioned ‘Look who’s laughing now,’ shows Malignaggi at The Mayweather Gym in Vegas talking to ‘Money May’ and seemingly suggesting that he has revealed sparring secrets to the 40 year old.

Malignaggi, who clashed with the Crumlin fighter on Tuesday, admits that he is keen for a bout with McGregor, and a has already suggested St Patrick’s Day next year in New York.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie