The superfight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr has come under the spotlight once again as the UFC star’s sparring partner, Paulie Malignaggi has quit, describing the event as a ‘fiasco’.
Malignaggi said early Friday he’d reached his decision after photos had emerged of McGregor giving him a hiding in the ring.
Commenting on one of the viral photos that show McGregor apparently sending the former world champion to the canvas, Malignaggi insists he was pushed, and wants videos of the session to be released to show what he says is the full story, Guardian writes.
“I didn’t want to become the story, and that’s what this has turned into,” Malignaggi said.
“I won’t release any information about his game plan or what he’s working on – I wouldn’t do that. But this has become a fiasco. It’s a circus.
“And I do want that sparring video released. The UFC’s PI definitely has that video. I understand it can’t come out now, but Conor, if you have any balls, release what really happened.”
— Conor McGregor News (@ConormcGregor5) August 3, 2017
Malignaggi added that he and McGregor had “a mutual respect inside the ring” and that his departure was related to matters outside the ring.
There no conspiracy, there no photoshop just pure unadulterated power pic.twitter.com/sqQoc3zgrn
— Dave Fogarty (@DavidGbd) August 4, 2017
The eagerly anticipated showdown between UFC star McGregor and unbeaten pound-for-pound king Mayweather has roundly been criticized as a money-making stunt with both men set to pocket upwards of $100m.
There has been bad blood between both trash talkers, particularly during their infamous four-city world tour where McGregor called Mayweather, who is African American, “boy” a comment widely seen as racially insensitive, prompting the American to call the Irishman a “faggot”.
Despite the initial buzz, tickets for the August 26 fight at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena have also sold slowly, and the recent setback to McGregor’s camp won’t do much good to the fight.