Retired boxing referee Joe Cortez has been helping Conor McGregor get used to boxing rules and was in the middle of sparring between McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi.
It seems things got a bit heated between the two fighters.
Cortez appeared on SiriusXM Boxing and told hosts Randy Gordon and former world heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney, “He was in there mixing it up a little bit with Paulie and it was the real thing,”
“I had to stop the action and I had to say, ‘Alright guys, you guys are getting a little out of control here, you gotta stop this.’ It got a little rough.
“They were both roughing each other up and I had to stop the action like as 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!’
“[I said] ‘Alright guys, you gotta stop this right now, I want a good clean round, give me sportsman-like conduct. Understand? I don’t want to take any points from either one of you. Understand?’ I looked at them and they said, ‘Okay, alright.’ And I said, ‘Time in.’”
Malignaggi has claimed there was some trash talking during the sparring session, Cortez said he had to put a stop to that too.
“I had to put a stop to that as well,” said Cortez. “That’s probably why I had to stop the action.”
— SiriusXM Boxing (@SiriusXMBoxing) August 1, 2017