Saturday, November 27, 2021

Joe Cortez Says Sparring Got Intense Between McGregor & Malignaggi

For a moment, Joe Cortez felt he had come out of retirement to officiate Conor McGregor vs. Paulie Malignaggi.

McGregor is preparing for his Aug. 26 “super fight” against Floyd Mayweather. The mega bout will take place inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’ll air live on Showtime pay-per-view.

To help prepare for Mayweather, “Notorious” brought in former IBF and WBA champion Malignaggi to spar with him. He also brought Cortez on board to get him acclimated to boxing’s set of rules.

Speaking to SiriusXM, Cortez said things got heated during sparring (via Bloody Elbow):

“He handled himself pretty good with Paulie. That guy can pop. He was in there mixing it up a little bit with Paulie and it was the real thing. They was no messing around. In fact, I had to stop the action and I had to say, ‘Alright guys, you guys are a little out of control here, you gotta stop this.’ It got a little rough.”

While McGregor and Malignaggi have no ill will, Cortez said he had to separate them on a few occasions.

“They were both roughing each other up and I had to stop the action like in a regular fight. They were holding too much, they were trying to punch each other. I mean, it got a little bit out of control where I had to call ‘Time!’”

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