Shortly after Paulie Malignaggi finished his first rounds of sparring with Conor McGregor, he talked a little bit about the experience on social media. But since then, ESPN has posted a more extensive interview with the decorated boxer, in which he discussed the sparring more in depth.
Malignaggi has been brought in to help McGregor prepare for his August 26th boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather, which will likely be the highest grossing fight to date. Malignaggi went 36-8 during his pro boxing career, won belts at welterweight and junior welterweight, and boxed several big names during his career.
Well, in the aforementioned interview with ESPN, Malignaggi reported he and McGregor got into the trash talking “right away”, as soon as they began sparring. In addition, the New York fighter also said this:
“To say a mixed martial artist is coming into boxing and wouldn’t be awkward is an understatement,” Malignaggi said. “He’s going to have his own style and set of things he does. He’s got a game plan. It’s not what people think.
“I’ll put it like this: He knows what he wants to do and he has a method of how he wants to get there. The mechanism of how he gets there may look, to the naked eye, ‘hmm, I don’t know about this.’ But there’s a method to his madness. He’s a thinker.”
That’s interesting to hear. Could Malignaggi be stopping short of criticizing McGregor’s plan? Since he’s part of McGregor’s camp now? Maybe. But, nothing he said there should surprise you, if you’ve followed McGregor over the years.
Malignaggi also said that McGregor has some “pop” with his left hand, which any MMA fans knows to be the case. He also said that McGregor understands he’ll need a more diverse attack, if he hopes to beat Mayweather. The latter is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time.