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Soon-To-Be Sparring Partner Malignaggi Advises McGregor On Approach To Mayweather Bout

UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor at The

Paulie Malignaggi has already done his homework on the groundbreaking fight he may end up having a bigger impact on than many expect.

While the rest of us can only Tweet to Conor McGregor that he should go all out against Floyd Mayweather on August 26, or indeed head kick him depending on who you listen to, the input of former two weight world champion boxer Paulie Malignaggi will prove to be more relevant to proceedings.

This is because McGregor saw fit earlier this week to request the help of the recently retired 36-year-old. Their collaboration once McGregor heads to the States for the latter part of his training camp will comprise of sparring, but also some first-hand insight into the sweet science.

The rather talkative New Yorker has crossed over tremendously to the commentary realm, a fact acknowledged by Luke Thomas, who spoke to Paulie on his self-titled Luke Thomas Show. Paulie is therefore well capable of articulating what the debutant McGregor should consider doing when facing the 49-0 Mayweather.

Conor McGregor, Michael Conlan & Matthew Macklin

“Conor hasn’t been boxing long enough to have a distinct gameplan”, Malignaggi bluntly outlined.

“He’s gonna have to figure out his three or four key weapons in his arsenal, whatever they may be, and disguise them in different ways so that it seems like he has more than those weapons, when he actually doesn’t. To vary your arsenal against Mayweather takes years of boxing.”

Asked if McGregor should close the distance on Mayweather (as Marcos Maidana successfully did) rather than fight at range as he does in MMA, Paulie echoed the sentiment of those who believe that Conor shouldn’t go the conventional route. Instead, Conor should stick with the style that brought him to the ‘180 million dollar dance’.

“I feel Conor does his best work at range. So if he tries to be this rugged, physical fighter on the inside, how much is it going to work? Don’t get me wrong – boxing has rules, but rules can be bent and broken.

Floyd Mayweather JR speaks during a Frank War

Does he even know how to fight on the inside to begin with? With Conor, I don’t know if you should just change everything. It may play to Mayweather’s strengths, but you’ve also got to play to your own.”

Another factor Malignaggi feels could influence the bout is that Floyd (out of disrespect similar to that he showed against Zab Judah and Victor Ortiz) may fight “very aggressively”. McGregor’s inexperience could see ‘TBE’ drop his safety-first mantra, what happens then could get interesting.

The full interview can be seen here via Luke Thomas.



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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.