Paulie Malignaggi has swapped real punches for verbal jabs since quitting as a sparring partner for Conor McGregor, and following his latest outburst many believe the former two-weight world champion has left the Irishman on the ropes heading into his super-fight with Floyd Mayweather on August 26.
Malignaggi previously claimed he would not discuss the finer details of his two sparring sessions with McGregor in Las Vegas, but the New Yorker has not been quiet since announcing his decision to quit working with McGregor last week.
The 36-year-old was angered by a couple of pictures tweeted by photographer Dave Fogarty, one of which showed him on his back during one of the sessions with the accompanying caption reading: “There no conspiracy, there no photoshop just pure unadulterated power”.
A furious Malignaggi responded with a string of tweets accusing McGregor’s team of ‘painting a picture that isn’t true’, insisting he was on the canvas due to a push-down and not a knock-down, before challenging the Irishman’s team to publicise unedited footage of the session at the UFC’s performance centre.
Paulie Malignaggi Details Conor McGregor Sparring Experience
Malignaggi has remained on the offensive in a string of media interviews giving his side of the story, and in his most recent one – in which he branded McGregor “one of the biggest dirtbags I’ve ever met” – many believe the New Yorker may have given Mayweather the key to beating the Irishman inside 12 rounds on August 26.
“From about six rounds on, he became very hittable – so much more hittable that I was putting more weight on my shots and sitting down more on my shots, and of course, the body shots started to affect him more and more,” Malignaggi told Ariel Helwani during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
“In MMA the body shots aren’t the same as in boxing in that there is consistency to body shots in boxing. There is a debilitating breakdown from the body shots in boxing. Little by little you feel the air come out of you with fatigue. Fatigue is always hard because you don’t have enough snap in your shots any more. You can’t throw as often as you want to.
“He stopped talking because he wanted to save as much energy as he could. He stopped throwing as many punches. He caught some nice ones for the first five rounds. The nice ones he caught were the whole time when I was talking.
“The funny thing about the push-down was this — it was during one of his worst moments. He pushed me down on the floor to try and catch a break and the instant I went down I got back up. I remember when I was down I continued to trash talk. I said, ‘Buddy, you need a break?’ because (referee Joe) Cortez had to wipe off my gloves.
“I started to take it to him right after that. I told him, ‘you don’t get no breaks here’, and I started to hit him with more body shots. I said, ‘take those, they don’t feel good’ and I could hear him whimper off the body shots, too.”
So could Malignaggi’s comments lead to Mayweather going after McGregor’s body on August 26? We will have to wait and see, but for now it appears as though Malignaggi’s verbal assault may have left the UFC lightweight champion on the ropes with a big body blow.
Follow all the unfolding events in the run up to the fight on our news section.