Paulie Malignaggi leaves Conor McGregor's training camp because of leaked photos

Former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi's soap opera run as the chief sparring partner for Conor McGregor has come to an explosive end. 

Malignaggi, 36, will remain part of the Showtime PPV broadcast team for McGregor's Aug. 26 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas. But the retired boxer will no longer be part of McGregor's training camp after the two had a falling out on Thursday night. 

After a pair of sparring sessions, including a second one Tuesday that went 12 full rounds and was described as "violent," Malignaggi took issue with McGregor's personal photographer posting photos on social media of the brash Irishman getting the upper hand in sparring. 

But the final straw appeared to have been leaked photos of Malignaggi with his back on the canvas, which insinuated a knockdown had taken place.

Having had enough, Malignaggi went on a Twitter rant Thursday where he announced he was leaving McGregor's camp for good after feeling like he had been set up. 

Malignaggi (36-8, 7 KOs), who retired following his March knockout loss to Sam Eggington in England, admitted he wasn't in fighting shape at the time McGregor's team presented the offer for him to join camp. 

The native of Brooklyn, New York, went on to post a full statement regarding why he decided to leave. 

"I just wanted to clear the air. I am leaving the McGregor training camp today," Malignaggi said on Thursday. "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 a 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 some 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 part of it."

Malignaggi went on to say McGregor's team has his word that he will not give away anything tactical that he saw in sparring but did mention "the things that upset me though I will speak about in time." 

McGregor (21-3 in MMA) has yet to comment publicly on the departure. 

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories