After months of speculating and sniping, I still can’t believe that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather’s boxing match is just two weeks away! I can’t wait! We weren’t even sure they were going to be fighting until June, but the preparations for this titanic tussle are well underway, and we’ve enjoyed a fair few press conferences along with a host of controversies ahead of the big fight on August 26.
At the moment, the two fighters are being put through their paces, in an attempt to get them ready for the fight of the century down in Las Vegas, Nevada. In preparation for his boxing debut after dominating the featherweight and lightweight divisions of the UFC, 29-year-old Conor McGregor has been sparring with retired boxer and two-time boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi. A video surrounding the sparring sessions, however, has sparked even more controversy ahead of this unprecedented boxing match. Having got his pro boxing license in Nevada late last year, Conor McGregor has been trying to make the switch to boxing, and part of that training involves getting him to fight other boxers that could potentially bear a technical resemblance to 40-year-old Floyd Mayweather, who is aiming to go 50 matches unbeaten at the T-Mobile Arena. The sparring sessions, however, became shrouded in controversy, however when photos leaked of a prone Malignaggi, with McGregor seemingly knocking him down. Malignaggi left the McGregor camp after just two sessions, and criticised the fighter and his team for posting “a pic that isn’t true”. The conflict has rumbled on, with Conor McGregor himself weighing in and saying that rather than being betrayed or misinterpreted by the McGregor camp, Malignaggi simply wanted a way out after he “got his ass whooped, his pride dented”. “He was looking for an exit. 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 to the home that he was stumbling out of the car after the 12 rounder. He was knocked down, he was flattened against the ropes. Multiple times, the ropes kept him on his feet. We were worried about him.” In an attempt to clear the air, Dana White has now released footage of Malignaggi’s fall, and even with video footage, it’s still pretty hard to work out what went down. All the same, Malignaggi still isn’t happy with White, calling him out in an astonishing Twitter outburst. “@DanaWhite you bitchass you were actually there and saw all 12 rounds. Really you f*****g cue ball ass fraud? Kissing my ass after the 12 rounds.” Although Malignaggi clearly isn’t pushed, there’s no indication that McGregor connected a punch with him that caused him to drop. It remains a mystery, but what’s clear is that the bad blood between Malignaggi and McGregor seems as real as the beef between the Irishman and Floyd Mayweather. It adds just a little bit more intrigue to the boxing match between the two on August 26, and I for one can’t wait.