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Sparring partner has confidence in Conor McGregor transition

By Robert Jones

Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi was left with a black eye after sparring with Conor McGregor and admitted that there is "a method" to the Irishman's "madness" as he steps up his preparations for next month's fight against Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor has enlisted the help of Malignaggi, who has previously held the IBF light welterweight and WBA welterweight titles, to aid his transition from MMA to boxing ahead of August's 'super-fight' in Las Vegas.

Malignaggi agreed to spar with McGregor despite being a vocal critic of the Irishman when he announced that he would be putting his MMA career on hold to box Mayweather, and joined his training camp this week.

It has been rumoured that Malignaggi has signed a confidentiality agreement while sparring with McGregor, after the South African boxer Chris van Heerden leaked a less than flattering video.

Sporting a clear black eye, Malignaggi said: "There was a lot of trash talking. A lot of fighting right away. At the end, you look back on it, it was kind of fun. I don't have many people who can match my trash talk, but Conor definitely can. It was making it a lot of fun."

"To say a mixed martial artist is coming into boxing and wouldn't be awkward is an understatement," he added.

"I'll put it like this: He knows what he wants to do and he has a method of how he wants to get there. The mechanism of how he gets there may look, to the naked eye, 'hmm, I don't know about this'. But there's a method to his madness. He's a thinker."

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