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On Tuesday, Malignaggi offered his side of the story behind the tweets.
The feud began to gain some traction publicly when unflattering photos of Malignaggi, which seemed to depict a knockdown mid-sparring, were posted on Twitter by an account not controlled by McGregor. Because only McGregor’s camp has access to their sparring sessions, Malignaggi apparently blamed McGregor’s camp for leaking the photo, and exited shortly after.
But while the Twitter photo may have been the last straw, it apparently wasn’t the first. Malignaggi had sparred with McGregor during two sessions, and that’s when things got chippy, according to boxing referee Joe Cortez, who was brought on to mind the sparring session.
It was during that second sparring session that “I realized what a dickhead this guy is,” Malignaggi said in his The MMA Hour interview. The boxer said he’d asked McGregor to stop releasing photos of sparring sessions, and was stunned at the response: “He (Conor) looks at me, and I’m expecting, ‘You’re right, Paulie — you got it, let’s just keep this good work going.’ Instead, he looks at me and gives me this smirk, laughs at me, and he starts walking away from me.”
Malignaggi also expanded on his time between the ropes with McGregor. “He hung tough the first five rounds” during their second sparring session, Malignaggi said. “He got better from the first time (sparring session) to the second time.”
But the compliments ended there. As the veteran boxer took McGregor further into the session, he said he yelled to Dana White, who was sitting ringside: “This is the bitch you brought me?”
McGregor has not yet spoken out publicly to confirm or deny Malignaggi’s story.
Another quirk to Malignaggi’s story: He said he and McGregor’s other sparring partners were forced to live in “a dilapidated neighborhood” during camp.
“It’s a run-down house,” Malignaggi said. “It reminded me of some kind of crack house that had been barely renovated a little bit.”
With all of this said, we have a perfect storyline for a Malignaggi vs. McGregor bout, if anyone’s interested.
Of course, Malignaggi’s public tirades may be working in McGregor’s favor: They have ultimately only boosted anticipation for the actual fight between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. set to go down on Aug. 26.