On August 26, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor will battle Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the boxing ring. Though his training camp for this massive showdown began in his native Ireland, he has now relocated to Las Vegas, where he will undertake his remaining preparations for the undefeated great. As it turns out, a key facet of these preparations will indeed be former two-weight world champion and current boxing analyst Paulie Malignaggi.
Malignaggi detailed his role in McGregor’s camp on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. Apparently, he’ll serve as more of a sparring partner and less of a coach.
“I think Conor McGregor has a very capable team,”Malignaggi said. “John Kavanagh is a guy who’s been around for awhile. You know, he’s got a team that really understands him inside the Octagon and outside the Octagon, they know him as a person.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m going there to train [McGregor,]” he continued. “I might give a couple of technical tidbits, maybe, maybe not, but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a trainer. I think his team has that foundation down pat. They’re going to be doing the training, they’re going to be in charge of all that. I’ll be going there to spar. But you know, if I see anything, and we’re on good terms and stuff, I’ll share my views on things.”
Malignaggi then shed some light on how long he’ll be working with the Irish star.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “It just comes down to how long they need me for. We’ve discussed a couple potential things, but I don’t know. It’ll depend on them.
“I’ve always been in a camp that’s been my training camp,” he continued. “I’ve never been in somebody else’s training camp.”
“I was never a guy that was brought into camp as a sparring partner, where I had to leave my house, where I had to leave home. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. In my personal experience, when I used to run my own training camps, I make all the decisions. I meet with my team and we make all the decisions as far as how long a sparring partner should stay, when a sparring partner should go and all this other stuff. So if I’m going by the way I look at things, all those decisions will be up to them.”
So when does Malignaggi’s work with McGregor begin? Very, very soon.
“I fly out Wednesday to Las Vegas.”
How do you think Conor McGregor will benefit from sparring with Paulie Malignaggi?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/17/2017.