Paulie Malignaggi lämnade Conor McGregors träningsläger eftersom det läckte ut bilder från deras sparring under förra veckan.
Efter deras första sparring för två veckor sedan gick Malignaggi hem, joggade dagligen och sparrades lite med en amatörboxare för att hålla sig igång inför nästa sparring session med McGregor.
Men när han kom tillbaka till Las Vegas sade McGregors team att de skulle sparras 12 ronder, vilket enligt Malignaggi inte brukar förväntas av en sparringpartner. Såhär säger han på det senaste avsnittet av TheMMAHour:
I land in Vegas and they tell me, ‘you’re going 12 (rounds) tomorrow’
Now, for people who aren’t familiar with a training camp, no one is ever expected to do 12 straight (rounds). The fighter in camp does 12 straight, but when the fighter in camp does 12 straight, he alternates (sparring partners).
Doing it like that you’re gaining two things; you have the sparring partners all at their best and, like I said, (the fighter in camp) gets uncomfortable – you have to be comfortable getting uncomfortable at times.
By the time you get to the third (sparring partner), you’re tiring, you’re uncomfortable. And the (sparring partner) is fresh, he’s looking to beat the crap out of you, you know?
Malignaggi erkänner att han var väldigt trött under deras första, åttaronders sparring och att McGregor förmodligen trodde att han skulle dominera i en längre session.
In his mind, he was probably thinking, ‘Paulie had a rough time getting through eight (rounds), let’s set him up for 12 (rounds),”
När den forne boxningsmästaren återvände till gymmet nästa dag var där en publik för att se dem sparras och Malignaggi kände det som att McGregor ville bjuda på en show mot honom.
I get to the gym the next day and he has all kinds of dignitaries there. He’s got Lorenzo Fertitta there, he’s got Dana White there, he’s got his agent there (Audie Attar), he’s got a couple of other people I don’t know there.
Another thing checked off in my mind because usually sparring is so private I couldn’t even bring in a trainer for my corner. I’d just have his sparring partners work my corner.
It was so private that you had to leave your phone in a box so nobody could sneak pictures or record. It was so tight, yet he had some dignitaries come in on this day.
Again, I was thinking to myself, this guy is going to try and stop me tonight. He’s banking on catching a guy that could barely go eight, and had a tough time doing the eight the first time. He’s brought in all these dignitaries because they can speak about how great he looks at my expense.
I was angry, but I knew that I came ready this time.
Malignaggi säger att McGregor var bra i de första fem ronderna i den andra sparring sessionen.
He hung tough the first five rounds. He came out sharper, with more of a purpose. He hung tough for the first rounds, he even landed a couple of good shots, but I was starting to take over.
My work was more consistent. My style was more consistent. My counter punching was sharper. My jab was sharper. There was just more consistency on my part.
Malignaggi påstår att McGregor hade blivit bättre sedan deras första sparring, men det hade även han själv.
Here’s the thing, people ask me did he get better from the first to the second time — he did. The thing is, this is still something new to him, so the increments at which he is growing at are still smaller.
I’ve done this for 20 years of my life, so from one sparring session to another to another, the rate at which I progress is a lot faster because the muscle memory comes back. The reaction and timing starts to come back at a faster and faster rate.
Even if he got better from the first sparring, I got way better from the first sparring. And on the third and fourth one, I would’ve got better and better. By the end of camp, this guy would’ve understood after two sparring (sessions), that his ass was going to get beat for the rest of camp.
När sparringen nådde halvvägs känner Malignaggi att han började dominera McGregor.
From about six rounds on, he became very hittable. So much more hittable that I was putting more weight on my shots and sitting down more on my shots, and of course, the body shots started to affect him more and more.
Of course, I’m talking the whole time, because the first time he made sure to talk the whole time. Now I’m talking more and more and I’m letting him know, ‘you can’t hang, these body shots feel good, right?’
In MMA the body shots aren’t the same as in boxing in that there is consistency to body shots in boxing. There is a debilitating breakdown from the body shots in boxing. Little by little you feel the air come out of you with fatigue.
Fatigue is always hard because you don’t have enough snap in your shots any more. You can’t throw as often as you want to.
Han påstår att kroppslag hade stor effekt på McGregor.
[McGregor] stopped talking because he wanted to save as much energy as he could. He stopped throwing as many punches. He caught some nice ones for the first five rounds. The nice ones he caught were the whole time when I was talking.
After seven (rounds), which was one of his worst rounds, he sits there and he tells me, ‘7-0 to me’.
I remember walking back to my corner and yelling back at him, I said, ‘whatever school you went to they didn’t teach you how to count!’
I was feeling so good that I start yelling at Dana White ringside. I started saying, This is the bitch you brought me here?’ I said, ‘24 hours ago I was on a flight’. Then I lied a bit, I said, ‘Last week I didn’t do anything’ — I did workout that week, but of course I wanted to pump myself up.
I knew that Conor heard me across the ring. Dana didn’t acknowledge it with any kind of emotion, he didn’t say anything, but he was looking at me when I was saying it.
Malignaggi säger att han blev nedputtad på mattan runt nionde ronden, vilket resulterade i fotot som läcktes på sociala medier, och att det skedde i ett av McGregors ”worst moments”.
The funny thing about the push down was this — it was during one of his worst moments,
He pushed me down on the floor to try and catch a break and the instant I went down I got back up. I remember when I was down I continued to trash talk. I said, ‘Buddy, you need a break?’ because Cortez had to wipe off my gloves.
I started to take it to him right after that. I told him, ‘you don’t get no breaks here’, and I started to hit him with more body shots. I said, ‘take those, they don’t feel good’ and I could hear him whimper off the body shots, too.
Malignaggi sade att McGregor fick in ett par bra träffar under de sista två ronderna. Han säger också att han uppfattade det som att de båda hade slutit fred efter sparringen.
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.
In the dressing room I passed by Conor and he said ‘good work’ and I said ‘yeah, good work Conor.’ I thought we had buried the hatchet and I was thinking that maybe I didn’t need to be so on-edge in the camp anymore. I was hoping that because I had came with those intentions.
Det var när Malignaggi tog upp de läckta bilderna med McGregor som han insåg att McGregor är ett ”dickhead”.
Then I said, ‘Conor, do me a favor, bro. No more of these crazy pictures,’. The week before, when I was working at Broner/Garcia, the media was there for the fight week because that was a big fight in boxing. All everybody wanted to know about was these pictures.
I told Conor that it becomes very hard for me to not disclose the NDA that I have when you’re putting up pictures of me.
I am not one of the other sparring partners. Nobody knows who the other sparring partners are. Everyone knows who I am. When you put up a picture of me in sparring, the media rush comes to me and I have to answer questions that I don’t want to deal with.
I have to try and make you look good. I want you to look good. I want to say things that make you look good. I want to promote you and help you out, but not at my expense.
I also have to try and figure how to do it without making myself look bad now because you’re putting out me in compromising positions with these pictures.
I had this conversation with Conor after the second sparring in the dressing room and this is probably when I realized what a dickhead this guy is because at that moment we had just done 12 hard rounds and there’s a respect that I’m feeling, at least.
He looks at me, and I’m expecting, ‘you’re right, Paulie – you got it, let’s just keep this good work going.’
Instead, he looks at me and he gives me this smirk, laughs at me and he starts walking away from me.
He gives me his back, he’s walking away towards the showers and he’s like, ‘Ha ha, I don’t know Paulie. We got some good ones in those last two rounds. I don’t know about that.’
At this stage I’m waiting for Ashton Kutcher to walk into the dressing rooms and tell me I got Punk’d. I thought it was a joke. I thought there was no way this guy is that much of an asshole.
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