Conor McGregor continues to enlist the services of former titlist Paulie Malignaggi in his preparation to face Floyd Mayweather on August 26. The two squared off in the ring again on Tuesday, this time for 12 rounds of action, and Malignaggi says McGregor showed some serious improvement over their first session.
Speaking to ESPN on the sparring session, this is how Malignaggi described the work:
"I think he's getting better and better. I really felt improvements from two weeks ago to now...I do see a guy who is implementing more and more of what they want to do in their game plan."
Maliginaggi continued by mentioning that he went into the session with a point to prove as he took exception to having to fly across the country on Monday, only to be scheduled to spar 12 rounds with McGregor on Tuesday.
Specifically Paulie described it as a “set up,” and then doubled down on that sentiment when he noticed that the usually closed sparring sessions this time had Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta (former UFC owner) in attendance. He felt it was all by design for McGregor to look good in front of his audience.
But the only specifics that Malignaggi was willing to reveal on the session went as follows:
"There was a pushdown yesterday. Conor on the inside, he can get a little rough. He shoved me down, you know, but no knockdowns. Obviously, 12 rounds, you're gonna see there's a mark on my face. Very, very hard work for both of us. I was starting to get in a groove in the middle rounds, starting to land some good shots. Conor really came on strong in the end. It was back and forth."
Malignaggi finished by describing his relationship with McGregor as “frenemies,” saying that they don’t particularly like each other but that there’s still a mutual respect after some grueling sessions.