An unwanted distraction for Conor McGregor in the lead up to his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Aug. 26, 2017, is the drama surrounding the Irishman’s now-infamous sparring sessions against Paulie Malignaggi.
Malignaggi — a former multi-division boxing champion -- blasted UFC President Dana White for only releasing part of the sparring sessions that saw him hit the canvas. Whether it was a push or a punch, we may never truly know. In fact, Malignaggi was irate because White took the time to edit the footage to show McGregor getting the best of him.
During a recent interview on Randomer Sports, the brash president responded to Malignaggi’s claims.
“What am I, Steven Spielberg?” White asked. “It’s footage of the actual sparring. Let me tell you what, I was there for all 12 rounds, and Paulie has said some crazy things, some bad things about me — I feel sorry for the guy because it was a one-way beating.”
So why did he feel the need to release the footage? It was because of Malignaggi’s non-stop false descriptions of what went down during his sparring sessions with McGregor.
“A lot of people were saying Conor couldn’t box, and Paulie was obviously lying about everything he said about the sparring match, so I released it.”
Meanwhile, many — Malignaggi included — have asked White to publish the entire 12-round bout. And while White would love nothing more than to oblige, it’s McGregor who doesn’t want it released for fear that Mayweather will see all the stuff he’s working on.
“Yeah, I got no problem releasing the full tape. The problem is, Conor doesn’t want Mayweather to see everything that he’s doing and everything that he’s working on. Those were just some small clips.”
Malignaggi ultimately parted ways with the McGregor camp after the fallout. And to hear White tell it, Paulie’s health thanks him for it.
“It was very one-sided, it was an absolute beating. And guess what? I think it was the right thing for Paulie Malignaggi to definitely leave for his health’s sake,” he concluded.