Paulie Malignaggi and UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor were once sparring partners, but now are heated rivals after the McGregor camp released a photo of the retired boxer being dropped during a sparring session.
Malignaggi warns McGregor that if he tries any borderline tactics, then he could lose the super fight against Mayweather by disqualification.
“What he really has to learn is to try to keep it within the rules because he’s a little bit confused as to what he’s doing in there. He’s a little bit confused, especially on the inside as you can see on that tape. He’s trying to grab and push the head down. Inside fighting in boxing is very different from inside fighting in mixed martial arts. You can’t grab. You actually have to know what you’re doing on the inside. I think Conor has to learn to turn punches over but more than that he needs to learn how to keep it clean. He’s gonna get himself disqualified if he keeps punching behind the head and pushing the head down. He needs to understand that inside fighting in boxing is different than inside fighting in mixed martial arts,” Malignaggi said on The Herd With Colin Cowherd.
McGregor is going to be making his professional boxing debut in the fight, but he does have plenty of professional MMA experience.
The retired boxer also says that McGregor’s fighting style isn’t equipped for what Mayweather brings to the ring.
“If you’re looking at it style-wise, it’s not a matchup. Style-wise, Conor can’t match Floyd at all. I think what you want to really look at for this matchup is the intensity. Conor’s the younger guy. He’s bringing that youthful intensity and the intensity Conor brings can sometimes be a change of pace. Floyd’s fought some great fighters, he’s beaten some great fighters, but all of them, to a degree, have had a little bit of respect for Floyd because they know how good he is and what he can do. Conor is coming in a little bit as a rookie. Call it ignorance is bliss in a way, but it also makes it more exciting because he’s not really coming with that kind of respect,” says Malignaggi.
Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather takes place on Saturday, August 26 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.