As Conor McGregor gears up to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the biggest fight of his life on Aug. 26, the media continues to hype the Irishman’s knockout power as the best tool he has at his disposal.
The UFC’s first ever simultaneous two-division champion has won almost all of his fights via KO/TKO, finishing most opponents with his vaunted left hand, but boxing sensation Pauli Malignaggi, who has been brought in to spar with McGregor in the lead-up to the Mayweather bout, says ‘The Notorious’s’ power is overrated.
“It’s definitely above average. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘Oh my God’ power,” Malignaggi said on The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday. “This is what I call ‘Oh my God’ power, even in sparring, and you’re like ‘Oh my God,’ like wow, this guy really hits hard.
Although Malignaggi wasn’t wow’d by McGregor’s power, the former two-time boxing world champ believes it’s ‘good enough’ to pose problems for Mayweather.
“Now, ‘Oh my God’ power is very rare. There’s above average power, so if he lands a good shot on you, I mean granted, with small fight gloves he will hurt you, but it’s not ‘Oh my God’ power where every time he touches you you’re like my goodness, this is very uncomfortable. It’s not that kind of power, but it’s good enough.”
Fans have no idea how McGregor will approach Mayweather in the ring but, Malignaggi, 36, assures us that he is very serious about his preparation and plans to throw Mayweather off guard with his ‘awkwardness’.
“The way I described this is he knows what he wants to do and he has a method to the mayhem. And the work was good, the work was rough, the work was good. We did 8 hard rounds. We were supposed to do 6, we ended up going 8. I think some of it had to do with the bad blood for maybe he had for some of the talking trash that I did, but we did go pretty good, and he showed me at least he is serious about this.
“I can’t say based on a sparring session, oh I’m going to pick this guy to win the fight. But I will say this, he’s serious about what he wants to do. He has an awkwardness to where he can land some shots, and I wouldn’t say his power is what the reputation holds it for. I wouldn’t say it’s that strong, but his power is enough to where you definitely should respect it.”
McGregor has promised to return to the Octagon to defend his lightweight title after the mega-money Mayweather bout but Malignaggi believes the SBG Ireland product could stay put in the boxing ring.
“He might box again. I was thinking the same thing. You can make more money in boxing,” Malignaggi said. “We have the Ali Act that we’re protected by that at least. It’s not going to prevent you from being screwed 100-percent, but it prevents you from being the way they screw fighters in mixed martial arts.
“So I think there’s a possibility Conor might box again, realizing he can make more money this way and realizing he can keep a bigger chunk and percentage of the money he brings in as opposed to having to share most of it with everybody else. So I don’t think it’s a far fetched conclusion that Conor boxes again, but I think for now, the focus should be on one person and one fighter and that should be the Mayweather fight.”
The MayMac boxing extravaganza takes place next month, August 26, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.