Malignaggi reveals Conor McGregor sparring approach


Paulie Malignaggi has revealed he is in negotiations to spar with Conor McGregor ahead of the latter's boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

McGregor will swap the Octagon for the boxing ring on August 26 when he faces the undefeated Mayweather in what promises to be one of the most spectacular sporting occasions of the year.

Former two-weight world champion Malignaggi - who announced his retirement in March - claims to have been approached to aid McGregor's preparation for his first professional boxing fight.

Speaking on his 'From Brooklyn to the World' podcast, Malignaggi said: "I did get called to go into camp with Conor McGregor. I was surprised. I haven't really been training, I haven't been in the gym. So I've started working out a little bit. I'm working out the details to spar with McGregor.

"It's interesting that they called me. As people know, I've announced my retirement. It's a good opportunity for me to lose a little bit of weight and get in shape, and also take part in a training camp without me actually having to make weight, which is fun.

"There's a lot of curiosity I have. I know he's an ultra-electric competitor and I've seen him fight in UFC, obviously, and I think he's very talented.

"I'm curious to see just the kind of progress he's made ... and what he's got to offer. I'm curious to see what's there. Everybody, I'm sure, is curious to see what's there.

"Let's see if I do it, though. I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but they have reached out to me and we're in talks, so we'll see."

Malignaggi called out McGregor last December, taunting the Irishman by saying: "I am going to knock the beard off you ... you are going to be apologising for everything you have been trying to do to get in the boxing ring."

Addressing his previous comments, Malignaggi said: "I did call him out and I think that shows the character of the man. He could have said 'screw that kid, he called me out - I'm not going to put him in my training camp'.

"I think it shows the competitive spirit and the willingness to want to learn on the part of McGregor. It shows you how hungry he is, because he put that pride aside and it's not easy to put pride aside, especially when you're a fighter. It makes me respect him a little more."