Conor McGregor has gained steam at sportsbooks recently, with many bettors picking him to beat the undefeated Floyd Mayweather. But one person who’s not impressed with McGregor’s chances is former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi.
The 2-time world champion boxer was invited to help McGregor train for his match with Mayweather. But Malignaggi left when he saw social media posts of their sparring sessions. According to the 36-year-old, the posts make it unfairly seem that McGregor was dominating the sparring action.
Now Malignaggi is pissed and bashing any chances that “The Notorious” has of winning this match. Let’s look at what Malignaggi said along with current odds on the fight.
Malignaggi Claims that McGregor is Becoming a Boxing Joke
Conor McGregor has done quite well for himself in the mixed martial arts world, winning the UFC Lightweight and Featherweight title belts. And boxing seems like a natural transition for him, given that MMA includes striking.
But Malignaggi thinks that McGregor’s boastful claims about his boxing abilities are turning him into a big joke.
“McGregor gets angry because boxing has not accepted him, but would an MMA fighter accept a boxer walking into their sport claiming that they are the best when he’s never done it in his life,” he told Sky Sports.
“That’s the situation with McGregor in boxing, he is being laughed at and it is only getting worse as each video of a public workout or him shadow boxing is released.”
The Agenda behind Skewing Sparring Footage
Malignaggi was part of The Notorious’ camp a few weeks ago. But this only lasted a short time as he grew tired of what he felt was a misleading social medial campaign.
“It’s been a wild ride the last couple of weeks and every time I think I’m no longer part of the storm, another photo or video comes out,” the retired boxer said.
“Part of me thinks that he has done this on purpose, maybe he wants to figure out a new opponent after the Mayweather fight if he wants to stay in this sport.”
“He maybe even planned to make me disgruntled before we even got in the ring, I had situations where I would show up to the gym just to be told I wasn’t allowed to train and I was put in a house that didn’t even have cable TV,” he explained.
“Was it all done to create trash talk, he has been dragging this all along for some reason.”
Malignaggi Dishes on what Really Happened in Sparring
If McGregor’s camp wanted a fair stage, they certainly weren’t offering it up to Malignaggi. He began sparring almost right off the plane after landing in LA. And he wasn’t in the greatest shape either.
That said, people could forgive Malignaggi for getting knocked down, which UFC President Dana White shared in a tweet. However, the boxer claims that the punches thrown prior to the knockdown were edited in.
— Dana White (@danawhite) August 12, 2017
“They want you to believe this was a knockdown and people can choose to be deceived but then they can only be mad at themselves when they realize the truth,” he said.
Malignaggi went on to explain that the punches right before he goes down were taken from previous rounds in the sparring exchange.
“Nothing landed in that exchange. You can think something landed, but it is clearly not the case, a passing graze is not enough to get a knockdown.
“The added footage of punches landed were edited in from the previous round and I always told people that he had a good couple of rounds before.”
McGregor may be Insecure about the Fight
The Notorious can be proud of his boxing skills if the video footage above is real. After all, he may have knocked down an experienced boxer who’s held title belts.
But Malignaggi doesn’t believe that McGregor should be bragging about any successes he had during the sparring session.
“I was tired and out of shape, the fact that he’s not ashamed that a guy came in off the couch and done twelve rounds shows you where his confidence levels are really at,” Malignaggi said.
“I had done the bare minimum beforehand just to show up in a little bit of shape as I assumed the training camp would be like mine or other boxers where each sparring partner does four to six rounds, not twelve.”
Malignaggi again went back to the claims that the video footage was edited, saying that McGregor didn’t pull off the near-impossible.
“Edit this video how you want, you’re trying too hard to prove what. I’ve sparred with hundreds of champions and very rarely does a knockdown happen, especially with the bigger gloves and headgear.”
He added, “[McGregor] is living in this alternate reality where he can punch and hurt people and sometimes I ask myself is he really that stupid, is it an act, why try to prove something that didn’t happen.
“Between me and him, we know the truth. Joe Cortez instantly said no knockdown and look at the people ringside, they would surely react differently at something so rare in a gym. Is McGregor that insecure?”
McGregor Mayweather Odds Have Shifted Recently
When the McGregor vs. Mayweather betting line first came out, Mayweather was a huge favorite. However, media sessions and McGregor’s brash talk have gained him favor with fans.
Here’s a look at our current GTBets line on the match:
- Conor McGregor +335
- Floyd Mayweather -455
- Fight at 10:30pm EST on August 26
This is a far cry from when we had Mayweather at -800 or better. The fans are skewing the line recently by laying money on McGregor.
And while “Money” is still a big favorite at -455, this perhaps doesn’t reflect his lopsided chances of winning.
One thing’s for sure, and it’s that Malignaggi doesn’t think McGregor can beat him. If this is the case, then we can be sure that he has almost no shot against a boxer who’s 49-0 in Mayweather.