'Conor is the king of bulls***!': Malignaggi on 'talks’ to settle sparring dispute with McGregor
Ex-world champ boxer Paulie Malignaggi has labeled former training partner Conor McGregor "the king of bulls***" and rubbished reports he is in talks with the UFC star to settle scores over a heated sparring session dispute.
The pair of former two-weight world champs infamously had a very public and very protracted fallout that stemmed from when video footage was released from inside the McGregor camp of a sparring session in the lead up to the Dubliner’s multi-million dollar match-up with Floyd Mayweather Jr in August 2017.
The short clip showed ex-UFC lightweight and featherweight champion McGregor apparently knocking down Malignaggi, who held world belts at light welterweight and welterweight as a boxer.
A typically cocksure McGregor published the footage as a means to reassure fans of his boxing prowess ahead of the fight, which was backed up and played up by UFC chief Dana White.
However, former WBA welter and IBF light-welter king Malignaggi was incensed and insisted the incident came as the result of a push from McGregor, claiming the clip had been conveniently edited to favor his rival.
Sources in MMA had reported that the two were in talks over a potential fight, this time without sparring gear, which would have given both the chance to settle the dispute in the ring.
However, when asked by the Daily Express to clarify the rumors, Brooklynite Malignaggi reportedly answered: “Not true,” before going onto call out McGregor and his team on suspicion of creating false flags in order to stay relevant.
“But of course, Conor is the king of bulls*** so I would not be surprised if this Conor having his team put out rumors just to keep his name in the headlines,” the 38-year-old added.
Unlike the pantomime back-and-forth between main protagonists Mayweather and McGregor, the spat between the two training camp-mates was scathingly authentic.
Sicilian-American Malignaggi had been recruited by McGregor to mimic the slick moves of Mayweather in preparation for the Vegas bout, which the American eventually won by 10th-round TKO at the T-Mobile Arena.
Following their argument, the two clashed further in person at Toshiba Plaza, Las Vegas, in the lead up to the fight, with Malignaggi heckling and squaring up to McGregor while the latter was on media duty, reminding the Irishman not to forget his "balls".
After the Mayweather loss, McGregor went on to continue his fight career in the octagon, losing his next fight to Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov in an unsuccessful attempt to regain his UFC lightweight title.
After that loss, Malignaggi, who has built a solid reputation as a boxing analyst in the US and UK since retiring, again took to Instagram to accuse McGregor of being a "quitter" and repeating the claim he had "no balls", captioning a picture of Khabib's 4th-round submission of 'The Notorious' and a snap of himself laughing in an embrace with Mayweather.