Two shorts clips of Conor McGregor’s much talked about sparrings sessions with Paulie Malignaggi have now been released by UFC president Dana White showing ‘The Notorious’ giving ‘Magic Man’ a torrid time in the ring.
“For all the people who think @thenotoriousmma can’t box. This is gonna be a FIGHT!!!!” White wrote on his Instagram video along with one video clip. “For those that don’t know this is Conor vs Paulie Malignaggi former IBF and WBA World Champion.”
The video shows McGregor landing at will, including connecting with a huge straight left that sends Malignaggi’s head snapping backwards, followed by another clean left and then a couple of hooks as the former boxing champ essentially turns his back to the Irishman and stumbles towards the ropes in an attempt to get out of danger.
Of course it’s a clip that’s been cherry-picked from 12 rounds of their second sparring session in Las Vegas, and Malignaggi insists that it was taken during the final two rounds, which he had already admitted went in McGregor’s favor.
Nevertheless, it’s an extremely unflattering clip from Malignaggi’s perspective, and also shows just how intense the sparring got, with McGregor clearly showing his training partner no mercy.
White then went on to release a second clip that captures the moment that has been the center of all the attention in recent days, as it shows the moment when Malignaggi fell to the mat – which he has repeatedly told the world’s media since was due to a push.
The clip shows McGregor landing a left hook that appears to knock Malignaggi over, with a short right hook follow it up.
At first glance it looks like a clear knockdown, but on closer inspection there is a debate to be had as if you watch McGregor’s left hand, he never retracts it after landing the punch, instead holding it on Malignaggi’s face and then appearing to push downward on the top of his head.
It’s all very subtle though and it’s certainly not the kind of forceful push or shove that people might have been expecting to see and there’s no way of knowing for sure whether Malignaggi would have been able to stay upright if it wasn’t for that additional contact.
Whichever way you see it, the footage doesn’t quite sit comfortably with what Malignaggi has been saying all week about it.
“I pretty much talked sh*t that whole sparring session while I beat the brakes off him, the pushdown was his frustration from it,” Malignaggi had claimed on Twitter a week ago.
The pushdown didn’t look like the result of frustration on McGregor’s part. At most it was just a moment of opportunism after seeing that Malignaggi was off-balance after a clean shot.
The videos are already sparking up a lot of debate, but one thing for sure is that these clips will only generate more interest, excitement and enthusiasm for the fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, which is now just two weeks away.