Controversy and heated exchanges seem to follow Conor McGregor wherever he goes. This past week, it’s all been about former boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi leaving the McGregor camp after feeling disrespected, and he’s since done his best to milk every bit of publicity out of his current circumstances.
McGregor, meanwhile, has continued to be his usual self on social media, with one-liners, pictures, and training footage, seeming to disregard to constant chatter from the American. At this point, it’s best that his head is in the game as he’s in the final stretch on preparation for his August 26th bout against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
McGregor is still seen as the outsider – not surprising given that he makes his boxing debut against a 49-0 fighter widely regarded as the best ever – with the odds on bet365 currently standing at 7/2. Many pundits aren’t even giving him that much of a chance, but on he battles as he seeks to make by far the biggest purse of his career.
With the most experienced pugilist in his camp now out of the running, Team McGregor continues to put in the work but will be missing that vital level of experience that someone like Malignaggi brings, as an IBF and WBA world champion with 44 professional bouts to his name.
The Brooklyn native mentioned that Conor’s arrogance stopped him from learning from the experience he brought, but it was most likely a vendetta on McGregor’s end given Paulie’s comments about him before camp started.
However, as they say, when one door shuts another one opens, and enter the man widely regarded as the best boxer on the planet at the moment – Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko, fresh off a stoppage over Miguel Marriaga in Los Angeles.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>. <a href=”https://twitter.com/TheNotoriousMMA”>@TheNotoriousMMA</a> need another sparring partner to test your skills against? ……………….</p>— Hi-Tech Lomachenko (@VasylLomachenko) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VasylLomachenko/status/894991628510912512″>August 8, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The Ukrainian is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, two-time amateur world champion and held a 396-1 amateur record. Since switching to the professional ranks, he has gone 9-1 and became the joint-fastest man to win a professional world title in just his third bout.
Known for his extraordinary footwork, timing and shot selection, he’s arguably the best technical boxer operating right now, and has made light work of every opponent, other than his lone – questionable – defeat.
The upside for McGregor would be the chance to spar with and learn from a man with so much experience and quality that he is almost unrivaled.
And for Lomachenko? It wouldn’t be for the money or the treatment, as Malignaggi already revealed it left a lot to be desired. However, after another disappointing showing commercially live on ESPN last weekend, he could do with the publicity boost from the most talked about fighter in sports.
McGregor learns, and Lomachenko gains. It seems like it’s a relationship that would work out for both men, although at this late stage in the Irishman’s camp, whether or not there’s time for it to come to fruition remains to be seen.