Former Sparring Partner Labels Mayweather-McGregor Fight as “Biggest Money Heist”

Paulie Malignaggi believes Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Conor McGregor is the ‘biggest money heist’ in boxing history.

The former two-weight world champion famously helped McGregor prepare for his crossover boxing bout, only for footage of their sparring sessions to be publicly leaked.

Malignaggi famously feuded with McGregor after they sparred

Malignaggi famously feuded with McGregor after they sparredCredit: FightHub

One clip shows Malignaggi seemingly being dropped by the former dual-weight UFC champion, but the American has always insisted he wasn’t knocked down by McGregor, who has since become his bitter enemy.

The pair clashed ahead of Mayweather’s final professional fight which came to a halt in the tenth round when he stopped an exhausted McGregor on his feet.

Malignaggi even mocked McGregor by posting a mean meme after he broke his foot during a trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.

Now, the 42-year-old has claimed the UFC superstar’s lone boxing match, which generated 4.3million pay-per-view buys and saw McGregor walk away with $100m (£80m), is the ‘biggest money heist’ ever.

Malignaggi is a former two-weight world champion

Malignaggi is a former two-weight world championCredit: Getty

He knew McGregor's MMA skills wouldn't transition to boxing

He knew McGregor’s MMA skills wouldn’t transition to boxingCredit: Zuffa LLC via Getty

Malignaggi told Betway: “I couldn’t imagine how ridiculous a fight between Conor and Floyd would be until I got in the ring with Conor and saw how terrible he was.

“I said to myself ‘Wow, this is really going to be ridiculous.’ And it was. Coming out of that spar I thought this has got to be the biggest money heist in the history of money.

“This guy is so terrible and he’s going to fight Mayweather, probably the best boxer in the history of the sport. Even though he’s retired, Mayweather is going to beat this guy with his eyes closed. And that’s basically how it went. He played with them.”

Malignaggi claims he spoke with Mayweather in the immediate aftermath of his 50th professional win and ‘Money’ claimed he carried McGregor.

'Notorious' had brief moments of success
‘Notorious’ had brief moments of successCredit: @thenotoriousmma – instagram

Ultimately, he was dominated and stopped by 'Money'

Ultimately, he was dominated and stopped by ‘Money’Credit: Getty

He added: “I remember I went to the dressing room to talk to Floyd after the fight, I said ‘Floyd, why weren’t you cutting him off?’ Because that’s where I gave Conor a lot of trouble cutting off the ring.

“Floyd said, ‘I had to make the fight last, I couldn’t just stop him in a few rounds, and if I cut the ring I’m going to end up stopping him in a few rounds.’

“And now I understand the genius of Floyd because if you keep just blowing these guys out too fast then no one is going to buy the exhibitions.

Mayweather has fought six exhibition bouts since retiring and has surprisingly been pushed the eight-round distance by YouTuber Logan Paul, Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers, and his unheralded sparring partner Don Moore.

Mayweather claims he stretched the fight out to avoid backlash
Mayweather claims he stretched the fight out to avoid backlashCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Mayweather went eight rounds with Logan Paul in 2021
Mayweather went eight rounds with Logan Paul in 2021Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

The 46-year-old is set to box John Gotti III, the grandson of infamous gangster John Gotti, on June 11 and is planning to fight several more times in 2023.

Malignaggi concluded: “Floyd gets in there against these guys who have no hope, but he gives the fans their money’s worth in terms of allowing the rounds to go, and people continue to buy them more and more because they know they’re going to get their money’s worth.

“From that perspective it’s brilliant. But it was a big money heist and Floyd knew it was a big money heist because if you look at when he walked into the ring, he put on a ski mask because even he knew he was robbing the bank.”

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