UFC star began sparring with former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi this past week, as he trains for his August fight against Floyd Mayweather.
On Friday (July 21), the UFC star shared a photo on social media of him inside the ring with Paulie, where he appears to be doing his best Roy Jones Jr. impression. “They say I’ve got no hands,” McGregor wrote in the caption.
Malignaggi spoke to ESPN since the photo surfaced and discussed the eight round sparring session. He says he will be one of McGregor’s regular sparring partners during the next five weeks.
After saying McGregor knows how to talk trash, he repeatedly referred to the session as “good work.”
“To say a mixed martial artist is coming into boxing and wouldn’t be awkward is an understatement,” Malignaggi said. “He’s going to have his own style and set of things he does. He’s got a game plan. It’s not what people think.
“I’ll put it like this: He knows what he wants to do and he has a method of how he wants to get there. The mechanism of how he gets there may look, to the naked eye, ‘hmm, I don’t know about this.’ But there’s a method to his madness. He’s a thinker.”
When asked about McGregor’s power, Malignaggi said there is “pop.” “He’s got some pop in the left hand, I can’t take that away from him,” Malignaggi said. “In boxing, especially against a guy like Floyd Mayweather, you need to devise a few more weapons, and I think that’s what Conor is working on. I think … coming into this situation already knowing Conor has a big left hand … you’re probably going to prepare for that left hand.”
“Obviously, Conor is working on other things besides the left hand, so there can be that surprise element to it. … There’s going to be other things he needs to make you worry about, and that’s what’s being worked on in camp. He’s effective at what he’s doing.”