Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor: Paulie Malignaggi in talks to assist UFC champion

Malignaggi retired in March and held world titles in two weight categories during his career
Malignaggi retired in March and held world titles in two weight categories during his career

Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi is set to be a sparring partner for Conor McGregor as he prepares to fight Floyd Mayweather.

Malignaggi, 36, previously said UFC lightweight champion McGregor meeting former five-weight boxing champion Mayweather was "an absolute joke".

He retired in March but is in talks for a sparring role for the 26 August bout.

"I have the mentality of being a member of the team and trying to benefit it as much as I can," Malginaggi said.

Malignaggi does not want to return to competition but during his 16-year career, he held world titles at super-lightweight and welterweight, winning 36 of his 44 fights.

When speaking to 5 live in May about McGregor potentially moving into boxing to face unbeaten Mayweather, 40, he said that not "a second of the fight is competitive".

But he expects to come to an arrangement with the McGregor's team and said he would even sign a confidentiality agreement to prevent him talking about the training in the event he parted ways with the 28-year-old before the Las Vegas bout.

"I've never been the type to talk about what happens in sparring," said Malignaggi. "If they are comfortable with a confidentiality clause I'd have no problem. I've never done this before. I've never been the sparring partner since my early twenties. I'm not a 22-year-old going in there to make a name for myself.

"They are the bosses and they run it how they want to. I'm curious about it, to see how Conor has progressed in these months."

Mayweather will stretch his unbeaten record to 50 fights with victory over McGregor, who has never boxed professionally but became the first man in history to hold titles in multiple UFC weight categories in 2016.