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Friday, 4 August 2017

Sports: Conor McGregor's sparring partner has quit after saying he feels 'exploited'

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The big fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas is just over three weeks away.

The UFC's Conor McGregor is determined to prove he's a serious boxer, but recent accusations from one former champion of the ring aren't likely to help his cause.

On Thursday evening, the former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi announced he would no longer be McGregor's sparring partner, saying photographs of a recent session that surfaced online were misleading. McGregor, who has never boxed as a professional, twice sparred with Malignaggi to prepare for his upcoming fight with Floyd Mayweather.

"I came to help this camp out, not to be exploited," Malignaggi said on Twitter.

On Tuesday, McGregor and Malignaggi engaged in their final sparring session. There were several photographers and camera operators, mostly from McGregor's camp, and Malignaggi wasn't happy when he saw the photos that wound up online.

The images show a bruised and bloodied Malignaggi, with McGregor recording a knockdown. But two days later, Malignaggi said the session was a much closer match than what was portrayed.

It seems that even after an inconsequential gym session, Malignaggi still had his pride to worry about. The Brooklyn native said he was not allowed to bring in any of his photographers, though he said there was a camera crew from the UFC.

In a statement on Twitter, Malignaggi said, "Conor and I have a mutual respect inside the ring, earned from each other with some good work over two sparring sessions." However, he told ESPN on Thursday night that he wanted to distance himself from the entire situation.

"I wanted to be part of this event, but I didn't want to become the story, and that's what this has turned into," he said. "I won't release any information about his game plan or what he's working on — I wouldn't do that. But this has become a fiasco. It's a circus."

The McGregor camp has yet to respond to Malignaggi's challenges. Both men will be in Las Vegas on August 26 for McGregor's big boxing debut.



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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