Spar­ring part­ner Malignaggi calls McGregor ‘scumbag’

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES: For­mer box­ing cham­pion Paulie Malignaggi says he has no re­grets about quit­ting Conor McGregor’s train­ing camp, de­scrib­ing the mixed martial arts fighter as a “scumbag” who sur­rounds him­self with “a bunch of yes men.”

McGregor is pre­par­ing to face box­ing star Floyd May­weather in a Las Ve­gas box­ing ring on Aug 26 in what could be one of the rich­est fights in his­tory.

The 36-year-old Malignaggi, who re­tired from box­ing five months ago, walked out of train­ing camp last week af­ter he said McGregor used him like a pawn, dis­re­spected him in the dress­ing room and housed him and the other spar­ring part­ners in dumpy ac­com­mo­da­tions.

“He’s a scumbag,” Malignaggi said of McGregor in an in­ter­view on Mon­day with the Amer­i­can web­site The MMA Hour.

He also gave a de­tailed break­down of how their spar­ring ses­sions went, no doubt pro­vid­ing May­weather with a blue­print on how to beat McGregor.

Malignaggi, a for­mer mul­ti­ple world cham­pion, said de­spite train­ing lit­tle dur­ing re­tire­ment he had no trou­ble get­ting the bet­ter of McGregor.

Malignaggi said McGregor is more con­cerned about putting on a spec­ta­cle in train­ing camp than get­ting ready for a se­ri­ous box­ing de­but against one of the great­est fight­ers of all­time.

Malignaggi was also up­set about train­ing camp pic­tures made public that show the Ir­ish­man in a pos­i­tive light.

“The guy is all about his ego. He’s ac­tu­ally not try­ing to get bet­ter. He’s got a bunch of yes men in his cor­ner who tell him he’s do­ing good even if he’s do­ing bad. It is just about him and cheer­lead­ing,” Malignaggi added.

He said he asked McGregor to stop re­leas­ing mis­lead­ing spar­ring pho­tos that showed the MMA fighter get­ting the bet­ter of the ex­changes. McGregor re­fused.

“I showed up with the best in­ten­tions to camp and at a cer­tain point you start to re­alise you are be­ing used as a pawn where some­body’s try­ing to get ahead at your ex­pense and not through your help.”

Malignaggi in­di­cated that May­weather should have lit­tle trou­ble with McGregor over 12 rounds of box­ing as long as he goes to the body on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

He, how­ever, said McGregor’s big­gest as­set against May­weather will be his ex­cel­lent con­di­tion­ing.

“Con­di­tion­ing wise he could push the is­sue a lit­tle bit more than I could,” he said. AFP

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