LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Former boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi says he has no regrets about quitting Conor McGregor’s training camp, describing the mixed martial arts fighter as a “scumbag” who surrounds himself with “a bunch of yes men.”
McGregor is preparing to face boxing star Floyd Mayweather in a Las Vegas boxing ring on August 26 in what could be one of the richest fights in history.
The 36-year-old Malignaggi, who retired from boxing five months ago, walked out of training camp last week after he said McGregor used him like a pawn, disrespected him in the dressing room and housed him and the other sparring partners in dumpy accommodations.
“He’s a scumbag,” Malignaggi said of McGregor in an interview Monday with the American website The MMA Hour.
He also gave a detailed breakdown of how their sparring sessions went, no doubt providing Mayweather with a blueprint on how to beat McGregor.
Malignaggi, a former multiple world champion, said despite training little during retirement he had no trouble getting the better of McGregor.
Malignaggi said McGregor is more concerned about putting on a spectacle in training camp than getting ready for a serious boxing debut against one of the greatest fighters of all-time.
Malignaggi was also upset about training camp pictures made public that show the Irishman in a positive light.
“The guy is all about his ego. He’s actually not trying to get better. He’s got a bunch of yes men in his corner who tell him he’s doing good even if he’s doing bad. It is just about him and cheerleading,” Malignaggi told MMA Hour.
He said he asked McGregor to stop releasing misleading sparring photos that showed the MMA fighter getting the better of the exchanges. McGregor refused.
“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,” he said.
– ‘Some kind of crackhouse’ –
“I showed up with the best intentions to camp and at a certain point you start to realize you are being used as a pawn where somebody’s trying to get ahead at your expense and not through your help.
“I said ‘I can’t deal with this.’ His team is a bunch of cheerleaders. They are not improving him. I don’t need to be around these people. It is not like they brought me in for anything tactical.”
He said the training camp accommodations were better suited to drug dealers. “They put me in some kind of a crackhouse,” he said.
Malignaggi indicated that Mayweather should have little trouble with McGregor over 12 rounds of boxing as long as he goes to the body on a regular basis.
“From about six rounds on, he became very hittable,” the former champ said. “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.
“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.”
He said McGregor’s biggest asset against Mayweather will be his excellent conditioning.
“Conditioning wise he could push the issue a little bit more than I could,” he said.