Yesterday, Las Vegas was the backdrop for Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s respective media workouts, as well as several rounds of interviews. However, UFC president Dana White managed to crank up the intensity level up to 11 when he released 24 seconds of the infamous sparring footage (across two Instagram posts) between McGregor and former two-time boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi.
As expected, fans across social media were whipped into a frenzy, seeing many ridiculing Malignaggi for what they feel was an inaccurate description given by the Brooklynite in multiple interviews about the session, specifically about the knockdown and/or pushdown that occurred.
Ariel Helwani was on location for MMAFighting.com where he secured an interview with McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh. During the interview, Kavanagh was asked what his thoughts on Malignaggi were and the Irishman’s response was of a very gracious nature:
“I haven’t actually seen anything. You know, you’re scrolling through the news and I can see he’s done quite a few interviews, but I’ve genuinely not watched one. The only thing I would say is I was very grateful to have him here. We got two great spars out of him.
I’m very confident of Conor’s skills, but I’d have to be—you know, 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 Paulie, and it was nice to be confirmed what I was very sure of; his technique and skills would cross over to this area. That only confirmed it for me, so I’m very happy with Paulie, very glad he was part of the team.
To be honest, two good spars out of him was kind of what I was expecting anyway. The fact that it went sour and he’s clearly unhappy, what comment can I make to that? That’s up to him.”
Coach Kavanagh: I’m very grateful Paulie Malignaggi was here and part of Team McGregor – Bloody Elbow