Paulie Malignaggi: “My life will be fine if I never see Conor McGregor again.”

When former two-time world boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi announced that he would be joining Conor McGregor’s training camp as a sparring partner it was branded by many as a great move but now only weeks later the situation has entered complete turmoil.

Last week Malignaggi announced that he would be leaving McGregor’s camp as he was unhappy with some of the images which were being put on McGregor’s social media of the two sparring. One image, in particular, that has caused the most controversy is a picture released right before Malignaggi decided to quit the camp of McGregor standing over the New York boxer who had his back on the canvas, implying Malignaggi was knocked down.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Malignaggi described the accommodation provided for him as “some sort of crack house that’s barely been renovated” in a “dilapidated neighbourhood”. The 36-year-old boxer believed that he was being set up by team McGregor when he was asked to go twelve rounds only a day after flying out to Vegas.

“In his mind, he was probably thinking, ‘Paulie had a rough time getting through eight, let’s set him up for 12”

Malignaggi then proceeded to describe their second and last sparring session in great detail.

“The way sparring went on Tuesday was this: he hung tough for five rounds, but he had to work harder than he wanted to,” Paulie explained. “I had more purpose, I was sharper, I was hitting the body. He was landing some good shots too. In those early rounds, he was hanging tough. From six onwards he started becoming very hittable. Started becoming so hittable that I was putting more weight on my shots, and of course, the body shots started affecting more and more.”

Speaking about the alleged knockdown Malignaggi said:

“The thing about the alleged knockdown, it was during one of his worst moments. He pushed me down on the floor to try and catch a break. The instant I went down, I got up, and I remember I continued to trash talk, I said ‘Sup buddy, you needed a break?’ … And I started taking it right to him right after that, saying ‘There are no breaks here, you don’t get no breaks.’ And I hit him with more body shots, I said ‘Take those, they don’t feel good.’ So I started hearing a whimper with the body shots too.”

Malignaggi admitted that after the twelve round sparring session had ended he believed that he had “buried the hatchet” with McGregor and that the tough twelve rounds had created a mutual respect between the two.

“After that sparring, I thought we had buried the hatchet we took a picture in the ring. Everybody gave us a hand. We just did 12 hard rounds it didn’t matter who got the better of it, there is a respect thing after you spend 36 minutes in a ring with a guy and you’re trying to beat the s**t out of each other.”

When the images surfaced of the sparring session on social media, Malignaggi said he reached out to McGregor and asked him to stop releasing “these crazy pictures”.

“I said ‘Conor, just give me a favour, bro. No more of these crazy pictures.’ Because the week before … all everyone wanted to know was about these pictures. … I said I don’t want to talk about sparring anyway, but it’s hard not to disclose the NDA when you’re putting up pictures of me.

“I am not one of your other sparring partners. Nobody knows who the other sparring partners are. Everyone knows who I am.”

“So when you put up a picture of me in sparring, the media is going to come to me and I’m going to have to answer questions I don’t wanna deal with.”

“I want to help you out, but not at my expense. I also have to figure out how to do it without making myself look bad now because you’re putting me in compromising positions with these pictures.”

Images were posted over the next few days again portraying Malignaggi in a bad light and that was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back for the 36-year-old boxer.

Malignaggi labelled McGregor as a “scumbag” and “one of the biggest dirtbags I’ve ever met in my life, bar none.”

“I’ve met a few scumbags in my life but this guy is one of the biggest dirtbags I’ve ever met in my life, bar none. I don’t care if we never speak again. My life will be fine if I never see Conor McGregor again.