Boxing star Paulie Malignaggi has quit Conor McGregor’s training camp less than 48 hours after their second ‘intense’ sparring session.
The former two-weight world champion announced his decision to leave the camp on Instagram after becoming frustrated with pictures that had been leaked from their sparring in Las Vegas that he believes unfairly painted him in a bad light.
One photo posted on official UFC photographer Brandon Magnus’ Instagram account showed McGregor landed a left hand on Malignaggi, with the caption reading, “This was the most intense sparring session that I’ve ever seen.”
However, the last straw for ‘Magic Man’ was another photo that leaked on Twitter from the session that showed him lying on the mat, which made it look as if he’d been dropped, though a day earlier in a conversation with ESPN he’d mentioned that McGregor had shoved him to the canvas.
After seeing that picture, Malignaggi began to vent on Twitter and demanded that the full video from their sparring session be released.
“Its not nice 2 paint a pic that isn’t true, this was a pushdown in sparring, post the whole video rounds 1 through 12 UNEDITED,” Malignaggi wrote.
“I came to help this camp out, not to be exploited, now your gonna get the truth though. Post FULL UNEDITED VIDEO FROM TUES night #ethics
“I actually beat his ass, 24 hrs off a flight 2 lol, which is why Im saying post the vid, I try not 2 be petty but seems it’s late 4 that now.”
Malignaggi then posted his resignation letter on Instagram.
Bad blood has existed between the two stars for some time before they became sparring partners, and appears to stem from comments Malignaggi made back in January when Mayweather and McGregor were still trying to put the fight together.
“1 hand tied behind my back he doesn’t win a second of a round against me,” Malignaggi had boasted to a McGregor fan on Twitter. “I’ve beaten better boxers than him being 1 handed when injured.”
“I would stop him,” Malignaggi told another fan. “The fight is a joke.”
Needless to say McGregor didn’t take too kindly to those remarks, and so when rumors started emerging a few months later after his fight with Mayweather was confirmed that he wanted to bring in Malignaggi as a sparring partner, ‘The Notorious’ insisted it was because they had a score to settle.
“Yeah, look, Paulie talked a lot of s***,” McGregor told the media during a stopover on his press tour with Mayweather recently. “Look he’s been brought in to spar and then he’ll answer to what he’s been saying and then we’ll go from there after that. But we’re gonna have a knock in the gym.”
Despite the obvious animosity between them, the 36-year-old Malignaggi, who retired in March, agreed to join his camp and was McGregor’s most high-profile sparring partner in the lead up to his fight with the best boxer of his generation, Floyd Mayweather, which takes place three weeks on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.