Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor: Paulie Malignaggi quits sparring role

Paulie Malignaggi
Paulie Malignaggi announced his retirement in March following defeat by Britain's Sam Eggington

Former world champion Paulie Malignaggi has left his role as Conor McGregor's sparring partner in the build-up to the Irishman's bout with Floyd Mayweather.

The retired American, 36, said he felt "exploited" by McGregor's camp.

Malignaggi also reacted angrily on social media to an image that showed him down on the canvas during one of two spars with UFC fighter McGregor.

"This was a push down in sparring, post the whole video, rounds one through 12, unedited," he said.

UFC lightweight title-holder McGregor will make his professional boxing debut when five-weight world champion Mayweather comes out of retirement to face him in Las Vegas on 26 August.

Two-weight world champion Malignaggi had been one of the sparring partners helping to prepare McGregor.

Malignaggi claimed he "beat the breaks off" McGregor during one session, and the Irishman pushed him down out of "frustration".

Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi sparring session
This leaked photo of McGregor and Malignaggi's sparring session was shared on social media

In a post on Instagram, Malignaggi said he will not give away any of McGregor's tactics but added he will speak about what has "upset" him "in time".

"I came with the best intentions and intended to help out," said Malignaggi.

"It's some of the stuff outside the ring and some ways things were handled in training camp that I didn't agree with and made me come to this decision."

Reacting later to the picture of him on the canvas on Twitter, Malignaggi added: "I came to help this camp out, not to be exploited, now you're going to get the truth."

Retired referee Joe Cortez - who officiated when Mayweather beat Ricky Hatton in 2007 - has been working with the McGregor camp to assist in helping the UFC champion adapt to boxing rules.

Earlier this week, Cortez revealed he had to stop a sparring session between McGregor and Malignaggi because the pair were "out of control".

Prior to joining McGregor's team, Malignaggi told BBC Radio 5 live in May that "not a second" of the 29-year-old's bout with former five-weight world champion Mayweather would be competitive.

A seat on the Las Vegas strip?

Mayweather believes he will earn $300m from the bout on 26 August
Mayweather believes he will earn $300m from the bout on 26 August

Mayweather, 40, was undefeated in 49 bouts prior to retiring in 2015 and is a heavy favourite for the sold-out T-Mobile Arena bout.

His promotional company has confirmed nine venues will be used on the Las Vegas strip to show the fight on closed circuit television at a cost of $150 (£114) a seat.

Over 400 cinemas across the US will also broadcast the fight at a cost of around £31 a seat, with organisers confident of "sold out auditoriums".

But earnings from home pay-per-view sales will make up the biggest portion of what is expected to be around $600m of revenue from the fight.

Households in the US will have to pay $99 (£75) for high-definition pictures, while in the UK, the figure will be considerably lower at £19.95.

Both fighters signed a confidentiality agreement, so their split of the earnings is not known, but it is widely accepted Mayweather will earn more than the reported £100m McGregor will make from his professional boxing debut.

Mayweather has said he expects to earn "$300m (£228m) or better in 36 minutes".

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