Paulie’s Black Eye for Boxing

By Robert Ecksel on July 22, 2017
Paulie’s Black Eye for Boxing
Sporting a black eye from their first meeting, Paulie spoke about sparring with McGregor.

“He’s got a game plan,” said Malignaggi. “It’s not what people think. There’s a method to Conor’s madness…”

“I’m sure it will be entertaining and fun.”—Paulie Malignaggi

UFC star Conor McGregor is learning how to box and not a moment too soon. With the August 26 fight against Floyd Mayweather just five weeks away, the Irishman has enlisted the services of former welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi to give him a crash course in the “sweet science of bruising.”

Sporting a black eye from their first meeting, causing tongues to wag and fingers to dance unconvincingly over keyboards, Paulie spoke about sparring with McGregor, which he said was “educational” and “a lot of fun.”

“We did eight rounds of work,” he said. “It was a lot of trash talking, which me and him have been known to have a little bit…and Conor’s coming along.”

It’s reassuring to hear that Conor’s coming along. There’s a lot to learn and little time to do it. Hopefully some of the Magic Man’s magic will rub off on McGregor, as he prepares to face the most esteemed practitioner of a sport in which he has no background.

“I didn’t expect to go in there and it be a picnic,” continued Malignaggi. “I wasn’t sure what to expect. To say an MMA fighter coming into boxing wouldn’t be awkward would probably be an understatement. He’s going to have his own style. He’s going to have his own set of things he does. He’s got a game plan behind it. It’s not what people think. There’s a method to Conor’s madness.”

Paulie didn’t focus Conor’s madness, but his method, whatever remains after the Marquess of Queensberry has had his say, depends on his southpaw stance.

“He got some pop in the left hand. You can’t take that away from him,” said Malignaggi, before adding a caveat. “I think in boxing, especially against a guy like Mayweather, you probably need to devise a few weapons and that’s what Conor is working on.”

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