Two-time world boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi continued his verbal assault of UFC Lightweight champion Conor McGregor on The Jim Rome Podcast, which dropped Tuesday wherever podcasts are found. Malignaggi, who called the fight as a Showtime analyst, openly questioned McGregor’s heart as fighter.
“He folds. He has a lot of fold in him. In boxing, we call those guys punks,” Malignaggi said. “They’re front runners. When things are going their way and they have the advantage, they’re loud, they’re boisterous, they’re looking good and whatever, but as soon as things stop going their way and they have to deal with a little bit of discomfort, they look for the first exit out of the fight.”
Malignaggi said Saturday night wasn’t the first time McGregor folded either.
“He did it in the first Nate Diaz fight,” Malignaggi said. “He had his way in the first round, he thought he was cool, he was landing all those shots, Nate stuck it out because he was a true fighter, he stuck it out. He stuck it out through the hard times in the second round, he started turning things around, now it was Conor’s turn to try to turn things back around, and instead he decided he didn’t want to be a part of the fight.
“It’s a common denominator. It’s something I noticed also in our sparring sessions, because I wasn’t in good enough shape to totally take advantage of it. But I noticed once things stop going his way he starts folding.”
Even if McGregor won’t admit he he quit against Mayweather, Malignaggi claims, he did.
“There’s is a way you can quit. Nobody is going to say I quit outright,” Malignaggi said. “Like he said after the fight, I wanted to go out on my back. Well hey buddy, you can’t be assaulted without throwing a single punch back and expect the referee to let you continue. So you know in your mind, when you’re in a situation like that, that you have to show some kind of life if you want to continue fighting, but if you don’t show any kind of life, then you know in the back of your mind the referee will stop the fight. So put it together.”
Malignaggi gave an example of how early on in his career he had to finish a lot of fights one-handed because he kept breaking his hand. However, instead of showing his opponent and the world that his hand hurt, he maintained a poker face to finish the fight.
“Conor himself said after the fight he was never hurt,” Malignaggi said. “So if you are never hurt and all you are is tired, than why you are showing it? You look like a dead camel in the dessert who hasn’t drank water in months.”
When asked if saying negative things about McGregor was his way of trying to get the Irishmen to box him, the retired Malignaggi didn’t hesitate to answer.
“He’s going to fight me or he’s not going to fight me. I’m going to tell you the truth regardless,” Malignaggi said. “People can look at it as an opinion, but fighters know when a guy is a punk. There’s ways you punk out of a fight. If you are not hurt, then how are you not fighting anymore if you aren’t hurt. A fighter has to dig down. Being a fighter is not Round 1 when you’re feeling good and the crowd is going crazy. Being a fighter is later rounds, uncomfortable, tired, hurting, what are you going to do?”
Malignaggi made it clear he wants to fight McGregor because he doesn’t like him at all, and would put his entire fight purse on the line just to box him.
“I live well. I’m not looking for the payday per se. We can do a fight where winner takes all,” Malignaggi said. “I don’t like the guy. I think he’s a punk, but I also think he has washwoman type gossip qualities. He makes stories up. He’s not a real man as far as keeping a man’s word. There’s nothing to respect about the guy at all. He’s become popular, he’s done nice of becoming popular, but if you actually know him I mean he’s a dirt bag in every way.”
When pressed on if a lot of his disdain for McGregor came from the edited tape of their sparring match being leaked by Conor’s camp leading up to last weekend’s fight, which showed favorable toward the UFC fighter, Malignaggi admitted that was a huge part.
“You don’t do that to the degree that you lie about it. I’m a pretty real guy. I’m from New York. I’m an original New Yorker,” Malignaggi said. “If there’s something I have to admit, even if it’s not good for me, I’ll admit it. But when it’s made up, and you’re trying to portray an illusion that’s not true and it makes me look bad, that’s going to drive me crazy of course. I know this guy’s a punk, I saw it with my own eyes.
“Listen, couldn’t he have done the same editing job on fight night, Saturday night? Think about it. He put a 15 second edited video of taking little clips. You could take little clips of the first three rounds of McGregor and Mayweather Saturday night and if nobody saw the fight, you could make it look like McGregor beat him up.”
What will McGregor think about the 36-year-old boxer calling him a punk and a washwoman gossip? Malignaggi said he already knows.
“He knows what he is. Deep down he knows what he is. I was calling him the same things when we were sparring. I was calling him a bitch, I was calling him a [expletive], and I was saying all of those things while we were sparring, because I could see he folds,” Malignaggi said. “And even that day, the only thing that saved him was I wasn’t in twelve round shape, so 11 and 12 I fatigued out.
“But I’m not Conor McGregor, I didn’t look for a way out in 11 and 12 just because I was tired. I said you know what, I got to give this guy 12 rounds of work that’s what they wanted today, and I’m going to give them 12 rounds of work because that’s what they wanted. I wasn’t happy about it, but I said I don’t punk out.”
You can listen to The Jim Rome Podcast on iTunes, or wherever podcasts can be found.