Last week, Conor McGregor hit back at former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi, saying the retired two-time champion was looking for an excuse to leave training camp.
MMA star McGregor is preparing to face Floyd Mayweather in a Las Vegas boxing ring on August 26 in what could be one of the richest fights in history.
McGregor has never boxed professionally so he brought in several sparring partners to help him get ready to take on the undefeated Mayweather, who is considered one of the greatest defensive fighters of all-time.
“He was looking for an exit,” McGregor said of Malignaggi at his training facility in Las Vegas. “The spars were not good for him. He took a lot of head trauma. Straight after it we were worried. The sparring partners were actually telling us when he was dropped back at the home that he was stumbling out of the car after the 12-rounder.
“He was flattened against the ropes; multiple times the ropes kept him on his feet. We were worried about him. We thought the worst was about to happen. He was certainly badly concussed. And then he just got out of there and went running.”
On the other hand, McGregor's head trainer John Kavanagh is holding no grudge against Malignaggi and thanks him for the much needed help in camp.
“I’m very confident of Conor’s skills, but I’d have to be—you know, the engineer in me would have to be honest and say I hadn’t seen him spar a high-level boxer until I saw him spar Paulie, and it was nice to be confirmed what I was very sure of; his technique and skills would cross over to this area,” Kavanagh said to MMA Fighting. “That only confirmed it for me, so I’m very happy with Paulie, very glad he was part of the team.”
“You know, you’re scrolling through the news and I can see [Malignaggi has] done quite a few interviews, but I’ve genuinely not watched one. The only thing I would say is I was very grateful to have him here. We got two great spars out of him. To be honest, two good spars out of him was kind of what I was expecting anyway. The fact that it went sour and he’s clearly unhappy, what comment can I make to that? That’s up to him.”