Paulie Malignaggi leaves Conor McGregor’s camp, angry over sparring photos

Conor McGregor is down one sparring partner with just three weeks to go until his fight with Floyd Mayweather.

On Thursday, retired boxer and current Showtime analyst Paulie Malignaggi exited McGregor’s training camp after sparring with him on two separate occasions to help him prepare for the fight on Aug. 26.

It was the most recent 12-round session that pushed Malignaggi over the edge after photos were posted online that didn’t paint him in the most favorable light after going toe-to-toe with McGregor in a grueling sparring match.

Malignaggi erupted on social media while proclaiming that he actually got the better of McGregor during their sparring session and also demanded that the full video be released to exonerate him from the photos that showed him getting knocked down by McGregor while he claims it was actually a push down during the fight.

Following his initial tirade on Twitter, Malignaggi posted a secondary message where he officially left McGregor’s training camp after helping him for two separate sparring sessions over the past couple of weeks.

“I just wanted to clear the air,” Malignaggi wrote. “I am leaving the McGregor training camp today. I came with the best intentions and intended to help out. Just the chance to be part of such a big event in this capacity excited me. I believe Conor and I have mutual respect inside the ring, earned from each other with some good work over two sparring sessions.

“It’s some of the stuff outside the ring and some ways things were handled in training camp that I didn’t agree with that made me come to this decision. It’s not my place to dictate terms in a training camp that is not mine, but it’s my place to decide if I want to be a part of it. I will not give away anything tactical that I saw in two sparring sessions with Conor. For what it’s worth, they have my word. The things that upset me though, I will speak about in time. I wish Team McGregor well in the rest of their preparations and look forward to being back in Vegas to work fight week on Showtime.”

Malignaggi initially joined McGregor’s camp after he had a negative opinion about the fight with Mayweather coming together in the first place. McGregor then invited him to come to his camp in Las Vegas where the two of them engaged in an eight-round session before the most recent 12-round sparring session held at the UFC Performance Institute.

Malignaggi will still be involved with the fight considering he is one of the lead analysts working with Showtime on the pay-per-view broadcast scheduled for Aug. 26.

As of yet, McGregor nor his camp have made any public statements regarding Malignaggi’s exit.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.