Conor McGregor will spar former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi ahead of his super-fight with Floyd Mayweather on August 26, just months after the ‘Magic Man’ vowed to make the Irishman apologise for disrespecting boxing.
The UFC star will make his professional debut in the squared-circle when he takes on Mayweather, a former pound-for-pound king, in a bout many are labeling a mismatch.
McGregor has previously trained with the likes of welterweight Chris Van Heerden.
And he will now share the ring with New York’s Malignaggi before attempting to dethrone ‘Money’ in what is expected to be the most lucrative fight in boxing history.
Malignaggi, who fought Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan before hanging up his gloves in March following defeat by Britain’s Sam Eggington, has previously won world titles at super lightweight and welterweight.
The 36-year-old previously criticised McGregor’s attempts to make a fight with Mayweather, promising to ‘teach the Irishman a lesson’ for showing a lack of respect for boxing.
‘I have been hearing a lot about this Conor McGregor situation and I got to thinking – you know what I am kind of interested,’ Malignaggi said on Twitter in December.
‘At first I was telling Conor to stay in his lane and I was thinking “you know what, you are going to embarrass yourself” but if you are really going to disrespect the sport of boxing like that then I would like to be the one to teach you that lesson.
‘I would never disrespect your sport and tell everybody “you know what, I could beat the best fighter in the cage”.
‘You shouldn’t come to our sport and tell everybody you could beat the best fighter in our sport in a ring.
‘I know you apologised about absolutely nothing last fight but after I am done with you – I am going to knock the beard off you homie – you are going to be apologising for everything you have been trying to do to get into boxing.’
By Daniel Matthew for Mail