We know now that Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregor are definitely not sparring lightly. In a recent interview with ESPN.com, the former champion revealed that they are going twelve rounds of hard sparring.
“Lot of violence. I went in there to prove a point. I didn’t like the fact I had to fly across the country on Monday, and they have me scheduled for 12 [rounds] on Tuesday. I thought it was a little bit of a setup.”
Apparently, McGregor invited a few of his buddies to witness his showdown against Malignaggi. The former world champion did not like this.
“Usually all sparring is private. I show up at the UFC headquarters and [former owner, Lorenzo] Fertitta is there. [UFC president] Dana White is there. So, I’m thinking these guys are thinking they’ll catch me right off the flight, set me up for him to look good in front of his audience. I didn’t like that. I kind of went in with a chip on my shoulder,” he told.
The sparring itself was intense and McGregor even pushed Malignaggi. According to the American, ‘The Notorious’ did not pull any punches.
“He wants you to know you’re in a fight. He doesn’t want you to think it’s a picnic. So, any time he’s in the ring, he’s trying to make it as rough as possible — be it roughhouse tactics, be it trying to land hard shots. There was a pushdown yesterday. Conor on the inside, he can get a little rough. He shoved me down, you know, but no knockdowns. Obviously, 12 rounds, you’re gonna see there’s a mark on my face. Very, very hard work for both of us. I was starting to get in a groove in the middle rounds, starting to land some good shots. Conor really came on strong in the end. It was back and forth,” revealed Malignaggi.
With only three weeks to go until fight night, McGregor is improving said Malignaggi but will it be enough against the 2017 version of Floyd Mayweather? We will find out on August 26th.