Just a few months ago Paulie Malignaggi was seen on video mocking Conor McGregor’s boxing ability as not being good enough to win the New York City Golden Gloves. This week, Malignaggi is singing a totally different tune after sparring two days with the UFC super hero.
Malignaggi, a two time world champion professional boxer, said the sparring with McGregor in Las Vegas was actually competitive. His soundbites about the sparring sounded almost like propaganda designed to sway public opinion from the general belief that this is a one sided circus fight of 50-0 vs 0-0 to a real genuine superfight.
“He probably got the better of it.”
“He worked harder than me.”
“Conditioning-wise, he pushed the issue a little more than I could.”
‘I generated a lot of work out of him. I gave him the work he needs.”
‘I had a tough time getting through eight.”
“The next week they put me in for 12 rounds. I came ready.”
“He hung tough for five rounds but he had to work more.”
“After seven rounds he said to me, ‘7-oh for me!'”
“Honestly, he got better from the first to second time. Even if he got better, I got much better.”
“He came on strong in 11 and 12. He hit me with some big shots. He did show character in coming back the way he did in the last two rounds.”
So now the new illusion has been created: Conor McGregor, at 0-0 as a pro boxer, is actually holding his own with a two-time world champion boxer.
And so astute ring observers have to wonder, Is McGregor really this good at boxing? Or is a choreography being carefully arranged to make the gigantic shock upset that could be about to happen seem plausible?
Of course, this site has speculated about what factor Mayweather’s inability to pay an eight-figure debt to the IRS until AFTER the fight on August 26 could influence what happens on August 26. It is entirely possible that Mayweather could throw the fight for the money. Because being approximately $25,000,000 in the hole to the IRS is desperation. And desperate people do desperate things. And Mayweather “losing” to McGregor makes a whole lot of sense for a couple of reasons.
If Mayweather were to win another boring decision against McGregor, the boxing public would be angry again for buying into yet another lousy Mayweather show. And there would be no other big money options for Floyd to fight ever again. Boxing Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin or a rematch with Manny Pacquiao do not seem likely at this time.
The smartest “business decision” for Mayweather is to lose to McGregor, which would thrill the world…and of course it would generate huge demand to see the REMATCH.
Mayweather has a lot of assets and luxury and fancy cars and mansions. He loves to gamble. He is very generous. But he’s not the brightest financier in America and that’s why he owes $25 million to the IRS despite earning hundreds of millions and spending hundreds of millions.
McGregor actually has all the leverage and can call the shots with Mayweather. There is no other way for Mayweather to earn over a $100 million.
Would Floyd Mayweather do anything for money, including throwing a fight? I think it’s possible, very, very possible, given the unique situation.
Malignaggi’s role in this drama is interesting. He is a credible media figure who knows the game, and he’s very good at shilling propaganda when it’s called for. Note Malignaggi’s 180 degree public turn on his opinions of Adrien Broner and Al Haymon. So Malignaggi has a history of revising his opinions to match what the bosses want. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the way the system works in America and the respected Malignaggi is very good at what he does.
Another reason why McGregor winning makes sense is because Mayweather just does not sell anymore on his own. People have had enough of his act and his boring style. Las Vegas needs a new fistic star, a new franchise to generate buzz and excitement. Boxing is near dead right now in America outside of the Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin fight. Boxing or fight sports are in desperate need of stars and the charismatic and incredibly entertaining and popular Conor McGregor is a huge attraction with an even bigger upside.
So the time appears right for Mayweather to be sacrificed, and the new “Face” of fistic sports is ushered in.
We learned recently that Conor McGregor is now holding his own with a world class boxer, Paul Malignaggi. And if McGregor is holding his own and “landing big shots” on Malignaggi, he can surely do the same with a fading 40-year-old who has not fought in two years, drowning in an IRS debt of approximately $25,000,000.
Mayweather has been keeping a low profile in recent weeks, showing light workouts, and video of his mansion, his world title belts, his teenaged sons’ Rolls Royces, but the old swagger and cockiness are gone. There’s no raging trash talk towards McGregor. No chest-thumping about 50-0.
All the signs are there that Conor McGregor is going to shock the world on August 26. And an old quote by Floyd made several years ago keeps ringing in my head: “I don’t love boxing like I used to because boxing isn’t real anymore.”
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