Paulie Malignaggi has continued to keep his name in the headlines following a falling out with Conor McGregor’s team over leaked sparring photos. The former two division boxing champ from New York had two hard spars with McGregor and then left the camp claiming Conor was trying to do him dirty. And while it definitely sounds like McGregor brought Malignaggi in to beat on him over disrespectful comments Paulie made to the press, everything else the two sides are saying are completely different.
Malignaggi has insisted he got the better of McGregor in both sparring matches, and that a knockdown featured in photos was actually a pushdown. Last week UFC president Dana White released footage of the moment in question, which seemed to show Conor lighting Paulie up. Malignaggi claims the footage was edited to make him look bad, and now White is responding in an interview with the UK press.
“What am I, Steven Spielberg? Come on!” White said when asked about the video clips. “It’s footage of the actual sparring. Let me tell you, I was there for all 12 rounds, and Paulie’s said some some crazy things, some bad things about me. I felt sorry for the guy. It was a one way beating. A lot of people said Conor couldn’t box. Paulie was obviously lying about everything that he said about the sparring match, so I released it.”
“Yeah, I got no problem releasing the full tape. The problem is Conor doesn’t want Mayweather to see eveyrthing that he’s doing and eveyrthing that he’s working on. Those were some small sections. It was very one sided, it was an absolute beating. And guess what? I think it was the right thing for Paulie Malignaggi to definitely leave, for his health’s sake.”
According to White, McGregor’s unorthodox style and unpredictability is the real wild card in this fight. Combined with his power and the potential for smaller 8oz. gloves, it could all add up for an unlikely McGregor win.
“I think Conor’s a hard guy to study,” White said. “In boxing, there’s a jab. When you throw the jab, there’s a counter, the right hand, the hook. There’s things that are orthodox in boxing. Conor McGregor is going to come at him different than anybody he’s ever faced before. It’s not going to be a boxing match, it’s going to be a fight. And I think that plays in Conor McGregor’s advantage. Also the incredible punching power that McGregor has.”
As for recent demands from Paulie Malignaggi that he and Conor box in a real fight?
“I saw that fight already and it was very one sided!” White responded with a laugh.