Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight titleholder Conor McGregor claims he dropped former IBF junior welterweight champion Pauli Malignaggi during their recent sparring session, which appeared to be corroborated by video released by UFC President Dana White.
Either way, it would make sense to use the “trash” footage to help promote the upcoming boxing match that pits McGregor against undefeated pugilist Floyd Mayweather Jr. when they collide on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Showtime executive Stephen Espinosa explains why it was omitted (via MMA Fighting):
"We received a few short clips. Roughly a minute total which were provided by the Conor camp. We reviewed them and were very interested in using them and including them in ‘All Access.’ But it was a series of sort of spliced-together McGregor highlights, eight or nine seconds each. We didn’t want to use the whole thing. It was sort of repetitive. We were told if we didn’t use the whole segment as they edited it then we couldn’t use it at all. So in the end, Conor’s camp withheld permission for us to use it. Otherwise we definitely wanted to use it. There was no intent to protect Paulie. We just wanted to cut some of the clips because it was pretty redundant, repetitive stuff."
It should be noted that Espinoza has an existing beef with McGregor.
White claims Showtime was protecting the “lying” (and destroyed) Malignaggi, who will be in the network’s broadcast booth during next week’s pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza in “Sin City.”
Malignaggi, on the other hand, blames the “dirtbag” for his rampaging ego.
I guess none of this will matter if Mayweather is able to beat McGregor on fight night. A “Notorious” upset, however, could lead to a McGregor-Malignaggi showdown, or perhaps a full-fledged boxing career.
With checks like this being handed out in the “sweet science,” I can’t say I would blame him.