If there’s a job we don’t envy, it’s that of Conor McGregor’s training partner.
McGregor has precious weeks left to train before the UFC star enters the boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather in an Aug. 26 superfight, and he’s apparently kicking things into high gear. McGregor recently invited Paulie Malignaggi, a former two-weight boxing champion, to Las Vegas to spar with him — although “spar” might be a kind word.
According to Tiernan Bradley of the Irish News, McGregor vs. Malignaggi was more of a “full on fight,” a 12-round session that The Notorious set the tone on before it even began.
“Conor told us all when Paulie came into camp, ‘This is not a spar, I want to fight him. I’m ready for a war,'” Bradley wrote.
Per Bradley, McGregor certainly brought the intensity, even as Malignaggi tried to give him pointers between rounds.
“Paulie was talking to him in between rounds, trying to give him advice, but then he was getting slapped in the face,” Bradley wrote.
Malignaggi himself admitted his bout with the UFC star got heated — and that McGregor is making strides, even if he resorted to some rough tactics.
“Lot of violence,” Malignaggi told ESPN.com. “… There was a pushdown. Conor on the inside, he can get a little rough. He shoved me down, you know, but no knockdowns. Obviously, 12 rounds, you’re gonna see there’s a mark on my face. Very, very hard work for both of us.
“I was starting to get in a groove in the middle rounds, starting to land some good shots. Conor really came on strong in the end. It was back and forth.”
McGregor even employed a referee to simulate a real fight, and in an appearance on Sirius XM radio, Joe Cortez confirmed McGregor and Malignaggi were going at it.
“They were both roughing each other up and I had to stop the action like it was a regular fight,” Cortez said.
We’re sure Mayweather also is training rigorously, but McGregor seems determined to whatever it takes to prove his worth in the boxing ring.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images