Paulie Malignaggi is no longer sparring with Conor McGregor. WBO junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko has offered to replace him.
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is just 17 days away from his highly-anticipated pro boxing debut against none other than Floyd Mayweather. Paulie Malignaggi was brought in as a sparring partner, but that has since developed into its own soap opera, and Malignaggi has since left the McGregor camp.
Aware of the news, WBO junior lightweight (130 lbs) champion Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) took to Twitter on Tuesday and offered McGregor the opportunity to spar with him.
. @TheNotoriousMMA need another sparring partner to test your skills against? ……………….
— Hi-Tech Lomachenko (@VasylLomachenko) August 8, 2017
This isn’t the first time Lomachenko has called out McGregor. Earlier in the year and before McGregor vs. Mayweather was even official, the Ukrainian force dressed up as a Ninja Turtle, tweeting “NinjaTurtle Lomanchelo [sic] waiting for you in the ring. I can test you.”
Lomachenko later explained that he is a fan of McGregor and said, “if we make a sparring session, I think it will be great for him, because I can show him boxing skills.”
The 29-year-old is a two-time Olympic gold medalist whose extensive amateur background includes a reported record of 396-1, and he avenged that defeat to Russia’s Albert Selimov twice. Instead of the usual route towards the top of the professional ranks, Lomachenko immediately faced elite competition, losing to Orlando Salido in his second pro bout, before winning the WBO featherweight title off of Gary Russell Jr. in his third fight. For a frame of reference, Lomachenko’s first pro bout occurred in late 2013, the same year as Conor McGregor’s first two UFC fights.
If we’re being real, it’s extremely unlikely McGregor and team take up the offer. Lomachenko has sparred with former UFC bantamweight T.J. Dillashaw, who was in attendance last Saturday for Lomachenko’s win over Miguel Marriaga in Los Angeles, California.