Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi have had a very public falling out after just a couple of weeks and two sparring sessions together. According to the former two-division boxing champ, Conor’s behavior here along with a similar controversy with Chris Van Heerden, has even cost him yet another high profile sparring partner.
“I spoke to Andre Berto. Andre was supposed to go there and box on Saturday, and he changed his mind after seeing what happened with me,” Malignaggi said on an appearance with Cagesiders. “Everybody already knew what happened with Van Heerden, now he’s doing the same with me too. When word goes around that somebody is like that, even in regular life, you start to alienate (people).”
According to Malignaggi, with both him and Van Heerden being subject to “spin”, it becomes obvious to many that it isn’t just a one-time mistake. He says this is why Berto rescinded his plans to help McGregor out in sparring, and this is why the fighter will have a hard time getting legitimate help from the boxing community moving forward.
“He’s going to have trouble getting any help in boxing, because the sneaky tactics, the sneaky qualities that he has now can no longer be looked at as a coincidence. With the Van Heerden situation, like maybe he didn’t know how the ethics work in boxing, maybe he still had to learn, or now that he has learned, everything will be okay.
“I think the cat’s out of the bag with Conor McGregor in boxing, now that he’s tried this again, with sneaky tactics,” he said. “You spar, and let me put in sneaky pictures, or make sneaky videos in Van Heerden’s case and let me spin it.”
Malignaggi says McGregor is already a massive star, and he never really needed to compromise his ethics and promote himself at the expense of others.
“I just don’t think it’s really necessary,” he explained. “Conor McGregor’s name was pretty big when he boxed Van Heerden. I think Conor McGregor’s name was pretty big when he sparred me, obviously. I don’t think he needed to spin that sparring into any direction to make his name bigger.
“There was no need to do that, but all it’s done is ruin his reputation. I don’t think he’ll be able to get big name help at any point in his boxing career. But at the end of the day, it was definitely something that has hurt his ability to work with contacts — or have contacts in boxing.”