Full disclosure: Your humble correspondent would like nothing more than for Conor McGregor to knock Floyd “Money” Mayweather out when they square off on August 26th in Vegas.
But he wouldn’t bet a red cent on it happening.
There are myriad reasons for this, but fondness for McGregor — who’s basically behaved like a donkey since the fight was announced except for wearing a cool suit — isn’t one of them. And his most recent bout of jackassery has done nothing to change that opinion.
The long and short of the latest incident is that, to boost struggling ticket sales, McGregor and his camp have resorted to the en vogue tactic of the day: distributing fake news. Earlier this week, McGregor associate David Fogarty of Ginger Beard Photography (hmm ...) posted pictures of his boss appearing to get the best of sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi.
There no conspiracy, there no photoshop just pure unadulterated power pic.twitter.com/sqQoc3zgrn— Dave Fogarty (@DavidGbd) August 4, 2017
Before the photos were released, Malignaggi, a former two-weight world champ, was actually complimentary of McGregor, telling TMZ the UFC star has “respectable power” that’s “gonna get your attention and it may even put you down if you're wearing those smaller fight gloves."
Once the photos were leaked by McGregor’s camp, however, Malignaggi felt he was made to look a fool — and promptly resigned from his position. He also issued a challenge to McGregor.
"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," Malignaggi told ESPN. “This has become a fiasco. It's a circus. And I do want that sparring video released. The UFC's PI definitely has that video. I understand it can't come out now, but Conor, if you have any balls, release what really happened."
He also went on Twitter to defend himself because clearly no one from McGregor’s camp would.
That kind of sparring is normal for boxers on a high level, I boxed many yrs so it's normal but to put a weird spin on things is unethical. https://t.co/rcUKRnakaN— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
I did but I didn't get paid anyway. Now go back and be a good Lil groupie and tweet about your Conor fantasies and stories. https://t.co/iojI1r3dMW— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Hate to say it but it's clear when I look back at my time there that there was an agenda from the start, too many clues. https://t.co/dxjLvu3Oyt— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Ur kidding with that question right? Like no way u r this stupid. Conor's people n ONLY Conors people allowed in gym, his photogs only. https://t.co/5uawAV2NoC— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Don’t feel bad for Malignaggi. He’s a big boy who can take care of himself and will end up well compensated for his time prepping McGregor to get beat. His ego, like his face, will heal. But don’t believe the one-sided story that those photos are trying to tell you, either. Can McGregor get some shots in? Sure. But can he dominate an actual boxer — even a retired one — in the way those photos would have you believe?
Don’t buy it.
And if you do, we've got a bridge you might be interested in buying.