As Conor McGregor prepares for the biggest fight of his life just one month away as he faces Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, he’s moved his camp to Las Vegas where he’s been working with several new training partners.
Retired boxing champion and Showtime color commentator Paulie Malignaggi joined the ranks of McGregor’s team last week when he showed up to offer the UFC champion some sparring rounds after a critical assessment of his chances to beat Mayweather in a boxing match.
The two fighters were scheduled to spar for six rounds but ultimately ended up going eight rounds as the training session got a little more heated with each passing minute.
According to Malignaggi, he’s convinced that McGregor is definitely doing everything possible to beat Mayweather when they meet in August, but whether or not that will be enough or not is an entirely different story.
“He knows what he wants to do and he has a method to the mayhem,” Malignaggi told Jim Rome on Wednesday. “He has a method on how he wants to do it. The work was good, the work was rough, the work was good, we did eight hard rounds. We were supposed to go six, we ended up going eight. I think some of that had to do with some of the bad blood maybe he had for the talking trash that I did but we did go pretty good.
“He showed me that he’s at least serious about this. I can’t say based on a sparring session that I’m going to pick him to win this fight.”
It’s been argued that McGregor’s best chance to win the fight will be landing his left hand, which is the same punch that’s put out several top mixed martial artists including Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.
Malignaggi was somewhat complementary of McGregor’s power but he was also critical of the Irishman’s punching power when compared to some of the best boxers in the sport.
Malignaggi admitted that not everyone will have that kind of vicious knockout power but McGregor still has some pop behind his punches.
“It’s definitely above average. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘oh my god’ power,” Malignaggi said about McGregor. “There’s what I call ‘oh my god’ power when somebody hits you even in sparring and you’re like oh my god. Like wow, this guy really hits hard. I’ve been in with guys, even in this past year I sparred a guy named Amir Imam, who’s a 140-pound contender in Miami and I remember thinking wow this guy’s got oh my god power and he’s 140-pound contender in boxing.
“Oh my god power’s very rare.”
Malignaggi says that for mixed martial arts where the fighters where four-ounce gloves, the kind of power McGregor possesses might be more than enough to knock out an opponent.
Whether or not his power translates to boxing where he’ll be wearing 10-ounce gloves while going up against one of the greatest defensive fighters of all time is an entirely different story all together.
“There’s above average power and then there’s oh my god power. I say Conor has above average power,” Malignaggi said. “If he lands a good shot on you and he’s landing with the small gloves, he will hurt you but it’s not ‘oh my god’ power where every time he’s touching you it’s like my goodness, this is very uncomfortable.
“It’s not that kind of power, but it’s good enough.”