Sparring partner Bradley gives new details of Conor McGregor vs Paul Malignaggi sessions

Over the last week, former two-weight world champion boxer Paulie Malignaggi has been making the media rounds due to his abrupt departure from Conor…

By: Stephie Haynes | 6 years ago
Sparring partner Bradley gives new details of Conor McGregor vs Paul Malignaggi sessions
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Over the last week, former two-weight world champion boxer Paulie Malignaggi has been making the media rounds due to his abrupt departure from Conor McGregor’s training camp for the upcoming mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on August 26. Malignaggi left the camp following the release of unflattering photos from the two sparring sessions they had, stating that the real story wasn’t being told and espousing the details from those sessions, despite signing a non-disclosure agreement. The Brooklyn native also spoke about how McGregor treated his sparring partners, saying that he’s “never seen such a cheap guy” in his life.

However, one of those sparring partners has come forward with some interesting tidbits targeting specific statements made by Malignaggi. Tiernan Bradley is an Irish boxer who has been with Team Mcgregor since the beginning of the camp and was present during the sparring sessions. Bradley contributed a column to the Irish News and gives another perspective to the running commentary Malignaggi has provided this week in his interviews.

“I pretty much talked shit that whole sparring session while I beat the brakes off him… The UFC PI has cameras all over the gym recording 24/7. The video exists UNEDITED of rounds one through 12 – let the fans see”

Paulie Malignaggi on Twitter, Friday, August 3 & 4

“I did Paulie’s corner for the spar, their second after a feisty first encounter, and I can safely say it will be very interesting when the video comes out after the fight. When you’re in sparring, sometimes you think you’re doing better than you are, but watching back afterwards can reveal the true nature of the spar. I’ve experienced that myself, you start to notice little things you did wrong, or maybe punches landed that you don’t remember.

Paulie came out smack talking from the start, he was saying ‘wipe that smirk off your face’ because Conor was smiling at him, that kind of thing. Conor stayed very professional; Paulie was saying stuff and then getting hit. Conor chose his moments to talk back. There are tactics to mental warfare too, knowing when to talk, and then there’s stupidity.

It wasn’t a one-sided spar either way but I thought one was the clear winner overall and that was Conor. He was very calm, very professional and, honestly, he really impressed me on the day.”

“It’s not nice to paint a picture that isn’t true, this was a pushdown in sparring, post the whole video rounds one through 12 UNEDITED”

Paulie Malignaggi on Twitter, Friday, August 4

“On the Thursday, we were getting changed after training at the UFC performance institute and that’s when Paulie saw the photo for the first time. He was clearly pissed off, showing us his phone, saying ‘what the f—k?’ or whatever. It was weird though because after that Conor came into the changing room but Paulie didn’t mention it, even though they did speak.

We were in the car home from training to get food and Paulie was like ‘drop me back to the house’. You could see he was hanging his head, thinking about things. He was in a bad mood. We left him to the house and when we came back he was gone – we were only away about 45 minutes. He must’ve been straight in, suitcase packed, out the door.”

“As for the ‘knockdown’ itself, you can make your own mind up when the footage is eventually released, if anybody even cares by that stage.

I’ve seen people say that, from the photo, you can tell that it was a push down by the body language of Joe Cortez. I can tell you now – Joe didn’t see the incident that led to Paulie being on the ground. He didn’t see it.

At the end of the day it was a spar, so what is he going to do – give him a count?”

There’s plenty more from Bradley, including the followup session that took place the same evening after Malignaggi left the camp which can be read here. Keep your browser locked on for our continuous coverage of Mayweather vs. McGregor.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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