Either Malignaggi Got Played or We’re All Getting Played

By Paul Magno on August 14, 2017
Either Malignaggi Got Played or We’re All Getting Played
From Conor’s clumsy straight left hand to the dubious knockdown—nothing looked real.

Was Paulie part of the hustle or did he get caught up in it? For me, that’s the only real question about all of this silliness…

First of all, my stance on Mayweather-McGregor hasn’t changed one bit. I’m fine with the fight happening and I’ll be an interested, amused observer on August 26 while the boxing “purists” are under the blankets with their tablets, trying desperately to find a working link to a stream of the show.

However, this whole McGregor-Malignaggi sparring nonsense needs to be addressed. And by “addressed,” I mean cyber-curb-stomped.

I don’t buy for one moment that anything around those supposed sparring sessions between Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregor was legit.

At this point, it seems that the whole arrangement was always a put-on. Paulie was never brought aboard to be anything other than a marketing tool to sell McGregor as a viable boxer to the non-boxing, casual-curious fans needed to make this fight a PPV success. Malignaggi was there to be a photo-op (or video-op) for Team McGregor.

Any reasonably savvy fight fan would be hard-pressed to deny the above. The former two-division world champ wasn’t brought in to actually make McGregor a better boxer—that much is clear.

The question, however, is whether Paulie was set-up to deliver those photo and video-ops or if the Brooklyn native was actually in on the “work.”

After looking at those “leaked” video clips of the sparring and knockdown, I’m pretty convinced now that Paulie was/is in on the shenanigans.

I’ve been around enough fixes to know when someone is stiff-legging it on purpose and Paulie is not a good, convincing patsy (much to his credit). Those few seconds of video footage “leaked” to the press seem staged and about as “real” as bigfoot-in-the-forest cam footage.

From McGregor’s clumsy straight left hand, thrown sloppily from a mile out, connecting flush on Paulie’s chin to the dubious knockdown—nothing looked real.

If all of Paulie’s face-saving pre-emptive excuses were true and he WAS practically rushed straight from the plane into sparring sessions that he dominated for all but a few brief moments, the video clips we saw were still unbelievable.

I suppose it’s possible that an utterly out of shape Malignaggi’s ring work has deteriorated to such an extent that he was getting roughed up by telegraphed, poorly-thrown head shots from McGregor—even for a few brief moments. Maybe the one-time defensive master suddenly developed the bad habit of hanging his chin out over his body like a treat-heavy piñata. Maybe neither fighter actually sweats during a rigorous sparring session and 100-year-old Joe Cortez—in full ref attire with bow tie—also doesn’t sweat.

Even when suspending all doubt and bending my brain to accept that what we saw on those few seconds of videos was real, everything around this story just seems like so much absolute bullshit.

Paulie warned us in advance about the edited video clips that were about to be “leaked” and laid the groundwork for enough plausible deniability to allow him to still hold his head high within the boxing world after this fiasco. His demand for Conor’s people to “Post the full, unedited video” of the twelve-round sparring session in question is a request that will never be granted by the UFC, which has exclusive rights to the video. This allows for a perpetual he said-he said situation where backers of both sides can believe whatever they wanted to believe about the sparring session in the first place.

McGregor’s predictably silly bluster, of course, doesn’t make the whole thing any easier to believe.

“He tried his best, but he got his ass whupped,” McGregor told the media. “He was badly, badly concussed after those rounds. Badly rattled…Sparring partners who were [staying] in the house with him were worried about him. They were ringing us, worried about him stumbling out of the car, incoherent.”

Again…bullshit, right?

It certainly doesn’t help credibility that Paulie has recently called for a “winner takes all” grudge match with McGregor after the Mayweather fight.

Did McGregor and Malignaggi even have a real sparring session? I’d say yes (although I’m even doubting THAT at this moment). But, regardless, there’s no way that what we saw in those few seconds of sparring footage was indicative of anything other than a burning desire from McGregor’s people to get some of the “no way he’s gonna win” stink off their guy so they can sell some PPVs to non-boxing marks.

Was Paulie part of the hustle or did he get caught up in it? For me, that’s the only real question about all of this silliness. I’m thinking that it’s the latter.

The answer to that, though, may give you the answer to another question—Is McGregor so awful that he could only produce like eighteen seconds of somewhat favorable footage in twelve rounds of sparring against a faded, out of shape, and ill-prepared retired boxer?

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  1. Black Bohun 01:02pm, 08/19/2017

    Finally I’ll see Mayweather laying on canvas. I really believe it will happen. McGregor is one of these fighters who changes everything in fighting world once he showed up. By saying that I mean verbal&fighting; talent. He totally dominated UFC divisions because of his boxing skills. He is the next level of fighter…
    And I am open to all kind of criticism by saying that. Thanks http://bit.ly/2vOmVFS

  2. Jimmy Allcorn 08:01pm, 08/16/2017

    I’d got faith in Paulie’s integrity, so I tend to believe that he got played a bit.
    I think Paulie wanted to be involved in an event of this magnitude even if it was just as a sparring partner. But, rather than taking advantage of what Malignaggi could teach him about the sweet science over the course of several weeks of sparring with him, I believe that McGregor & his people had an agenda & wanted to do everything in their power to slant things to their advantage in order to get some highlight reel footage of McGregor giving Paulie a beatdown. Or better yet, one showing him knocking Malignaggi down/out.
    Unfortunately for them, even five months into his retirement & pretty thoroughly out of condition, Paulie proved a lot more durable & capable through their 20 rounds of sparring than they had counted on, so they had to use that expertly edited pro-McGregor footage in order to fulfill their agenda.

  3. Kid Blast 08:56am, 08/15/2017

    Alfonso, I’d let him do some strange things to me for that amount of money.

  4. Alfonso Bedoya 08:44am, 08/15/2017

    Through the years it was a common notion of boxing people that it would not be worth say a million dollars to get in the ring and take a beatdown from someone like Mike Tyson. The thought was that anyone who did would have to be considered batshit crazy because it was much better to have your health than the money. Alfonso calls bullshit on that….there are literally millions of guys in this country and billions worldwide that would jump at the chance to get their asses whipped from here into next week by Floyd Mayweather for a cool $100,000,000!

  5. Alfonso Bedoya 07:29am, 08/15/2017

    If Conor had taken up boxing full time early on his career would have come and gone by now….he chose this other path and now he;s got the winning Powerball ticket in his wallet…..he better pray that nothing happens to prevent him from cashing it in on August 26. From now until fight night he needs to hole up in a hotel room close to the arena stay in bed and just do room service….way too much shit could happen in those sparring sessions or going downstairs to the buffet or….anything…. to screw up the works!

  6. Pete The Sneak 04:16am, 08/15/2017

    Magno, I don’t know what ‘boxing purists’ you consort with that will be “under the blankets with their tablets, trying desperately to find a working link to a stream of the show,” but none that I know or hang out with will be doing that. Really? Don’t get me wrong, ‘boxing’ people will generally be curious as this is after all hyped as a ‘boxing match,’ but not enough that they will be going through some great lengths to get a stream or god forbid, pay for this crap. Will there be interest from purists? Sure. I mean after all, circuses do attract attention. Now I will tell you, that the re-broadcast of this fight the following week will be where the ‘purists’ will be watching, knowing that they have not contributed to the success of this scam job. Speaking of scamming, Paulie Malignaggi works for Showtime, the fight is PPV/Showtime, so who benefits if this is a huge PPV success besides FMJ/Mac? Itttt’s SHOWTIME!...Peace.

  7. Kid Blast 06:51pm, 08/14/2017

    Speaking of slurping

  8. OMalley 06:47pm, 08/14/2017

    Hey Know it ALL!

    You are an idiot. You wouldn’t know a fix if it was you on your face. Connor had a bad taste for Paulie for his comments and they had a tough spar. That is it goofball. You assholes always think something is up or crooked.


  9. Kid Blast 05:37pm, 08/14/2017

    Not me. I’ll watch Cotto for free. Though I do like grape Kool Aid

  10. Alfonso Bedoya 04:30pm, 08/14/2017

    Paul Magno-Purists?! When you persist in calling those that are not buying in Purists you bring to mind those non-Purists that jumped the line at Jonestown because they just couldn’t wait to guzzle down that grape koolaid. Take a good gander at that photo above….you don’t see that kinda’  crazy ass shit in Tough Man contests yet Conor figures to rake in $100,000,000 from you impure koolaid slurpers.

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