If that argument isn’t compelling enough, consider this: The highlight of Conor’s training camp has been his sparring sessions against retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi. There’s some debate as to who got the better in those matches, but remember that (1) Malignaggi was paid to be a sparring partner for Conor, and (2) Malignaggi is part of the broadcast team tonight, and clearly benefits from increased interest in this stupid event. Let’s assume, though, that Paulie wasn’t taking it easy on Conor to build up his confidence. Who is Paulie Malignaggi, the boxer? Well, he’s the worst possible sparring partner to train for a guy like Mayweather. Their styles are nothing alike, and Malignaggi legitimately may be the lightest-punching name fighter in the last decade, while Floyd possesses significantly-underrated power even though he rarely uncorks it. Besides, even at his best, Malignaggi was absolutely humiliated by Amir Khan, a guy who was blown out by Canelo, a guy who was skunked by, wait for it, Floyd Mayweather. Any way you do the math, no matter how many benefits of the doubt you cut in Conor’s favor, the result is the same: He’s orders of magnitude below Floyd’s skill level.
[ Editor's Note: Chryste Gaines, MBA, Olympic gold and bronze medal sprinter and former teammate of Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, stated the following in a Dec. 22, 2008 email to in response to the IOC ruling:
"We are being unfairly punished. If the drug testing agencies cannot determine if an athlete is taking performance enhancing drugs how are the teammates supposed to know?... It negates all the family functions, church functions, and social events we missed in the name of winning an Olympic medal." ]