Despite a couple of short videos showing Conor McGregor hurting and flooring Paulie Malignaggi in sparring, ‘Magic Man’ has insisted that the footage is deceiving and that it was he who clearly won their second 12-round sparring session in Las Vegas.
However, while McGregor’s coaches haven’t been as outspoken as the fighters themselves about what really happened that night, the manner in which they’ve been discussing it tells its own story.
“Let’s just say I was very happy with how Conor looked,” McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy said with a big smile on his face when asked by MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani late last week how his man had fared against Malignaggi.
It’s a similar story on Roddy’s newly released video blog, which gives a gimpse into the scene inside the gym soon after the now-infamous sparring session.
The most telling moment in that video comes when Roddy high-fives another member of McGregor’s team, who looks like he’s on cloud-nine, grinning widely and laughing, which Roddy claims, “says it all,” about how the sparring session went.
Speaking at last week’s open workout, McGregor’s other long-time head coach, John Kavanagh also appeared to be notably up-beat about how McGregor had coped going up against the former two-weight world boxing champion.
“I’m very confident in Conor’s skills, but, the engineer in me would have to be honest and say I hadn’t seen him spar a high-level boxer, until I saw him spar with Paulie, and it was nice to be confirmed that I was very sure his technique and skills would cross over to this area, and that only confirmed it for me,” Kavanagh said of the two sessions with Malignaggi.
“The 12-round spar kind of answered any questions to me on whether there would be any point in doing a fight,” Kavanagh said dismissively when asked whether Malignaggi was angling for a lucrative fight of his own with McGregor in the future.
Kavanagh also gave his assessment on Malignaggi’s claims that McGregor’s knockdown against him had actually been a push.
“I won’t claim to be an expert in boxing, but I saw him get hit on the head and fall down, so to me that looks like a knockdown.”
A final indication that confidence is running high in the camp came when Kavanagh stated that if the commmission does change the glove since from 10 ounces to 8 ounces then he believes McGregor could finish Mayweather inside the first round.
If Malignaggi’s claims that he “beat the brakes off” McGregor are true then the Irishman’s camp are doing a hell of a job of covering it up.