The rivalry between former IBF and WBA World Champion Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregor sparring partner has taken yet another twist
After video emerged showing McGregor work over Malignaggi:
The former champ responded on Twitter:
Malignaggi certainly has a point on the McGregor forearm issue, but that’s far from the main focus here. McGregor looks fantastic in the video, quicker and his precision is much better than we’ve seen. He looks comfortable in the boxing ring and seemed to work over the former boxing champ.
This may not mean much in the long run, and we’d still take Mayweather over McGregor. But, if he one of his strong lefts land, it could be lights out for Money Mayweather.
McGregor’s showdown with Floyd Mayweather is slated for August 26, and the UFC champion isn’t lacking any confidence.
According to UFC president Dana White, McGregor got off a plane from Ireland to promote the Mayweather bout and already had a prediction for how the fight will end:
“I will knock the man out within four rounds,” White said McGregor told him on Fox Sports 1’s ‘Speak for Yourself’ as the UFC champ got off a plane from Ireland as he starts his tour hyping the Mayweather bout.
McGregor coming along
McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, recently talked up the UFC champ and believes he’s coming along ahead of the bout, via MMA Fighting:
“We’re doing four times the amount of sparring for this camp than we would do for a regular MMA camp. That’s a huge amount of extra rounds. Whatever other parts you get ready for a fight whether it’s boxing or MMA, without doubt the most important part of that is sparring. That’s the sport. So you can be doing movement drills and weight-lifting and running and all of these different things that go with it but number one should be sparring, as long as it’s sensible.
“I really feel we’ve come along leaps and bounds in a very short time and we’re only halfway through this camp. We have another mesocycle when get out to Vegas and another big leap forward.”
What Kavanagh is saying and what McGregor’s videos have shown, though, are two entirely different things.
What the video says
Older video emerged from the McGregor camp in response to Mayweather’s training video. To say the least, the results weren’t encouraging.
While the two training regimens are drastically different, the key here is the two fighters’ movements.
Mayweather, as we’ve known, is quick-twitch with rapid movement, blazing fast strikes and he’ll land four punches before you know what happened. For McGregor, it’s obvious he’s focusing on power. No training in the world will get him to the same speed as Mayweather, but it’s his movement that is worrisome from these videos. He’s stuck in mud, his head hangs and it’s not fluid.
Here’s each video separately if it’s difficult to watch both screens.
And here’s video of McGregor’s training, which was released back in mid-June.
McGregor is a fine striker, with power and precision. But he’ll need more than that to beat one of the best boxers ever, Mayweather.
Per MMA Mania:
“Conor showed me that he’s got some boxing background. His counter left hand was pretty good,” van Heerden told The Washington Journal. “What chance does he have against Mayweather, the best boxer in the world? A puncher’s chance. So he swings well; he swings a big shot. Maybe he lands it. That might seal it for him. But honestly, do I see Conor beat Mayweather, no, I don’t.”
Mayweather (49-0) hasn’t won by TKO since 2007, and as any boxing fan from the past 10 years has seen, he’s quite willing to out-point his opposition. Out-pointing doesn’t necessarily mean he’s taking it easy, utterly embarrassing anyone who has stepped to the 40-year-old Mayweather over his tenure at the top.
Now, McGregor makes his debut in a boxing ring against of the greatest boxers of all-time with zero in-ring experience. Sure, McGregor has fought MMA since 2007, compiling a 21-3 record while knocking out or stopping just about anyone who comes his way. But boxing is a different animal, and he won’t be able to set up strikes with straight leg kicks or elbows. His three losses have each been by submission, but he won’t have to worry about that in this strictly boxing match. Instead, it’ll all be about reacting, countering and trying to finagle around Mayweather’s lightning quick strikes.
McGregor’s UFC future
Is Conor McGregor done with UFC?
No, his coach, John Kavanagh, said But he even went a step further when he told The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani he expects McGregor could defend his lightweight title this year.
“I don’t see any reason why he would not,” Kavanagh said. “Certainly money would not be the reason why he would not do MMA again. He has said very clearly to me, ‘Get ready, we’re back in the cage in December.’ I hope someone out there has sparked the interest in him to make him excited about that.”
Kavanagh elaborated on the MMA Hour that it’s not the money that’s a factor in fighting UFC again:
“It’s the challenge. That’s why he’s in the gym laughing every day. If he left the gym now and stopped fighting, what would he do with his free time? You can only sit in one car at a time, you can only have one meal at a time. Eventually you want to do something that’s enjoyable to you. And that would be Conor drifting back into the gym. It’s what’s enjoyable to him.”
But first, there’s the business of fighting Mayweather, the undefeated fighter widely acknowledged as the best in the world. That in and of itself will be a challenge.