With less than a month before Conor McGregor's superfight with Floyd Mayweather, sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi saw encouraging signs from McGregor after watching the UFC champion train.
"I think the intensity Conor's reaching is starting to show in the hard work he's put into camp," Malignaggi said, per ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto. "I think he's getting better and better. I really felt improvements from two weeks ago to now ... I do see a guy who is implementing more and more of what they want to do in their game plan."
Malignaggi has been sparring with McGregor to help him prepare for Mayweather in the ring.
While working with Malignaggi should help him on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, McGregor still faces what is nearly an impossible task of closing the gap on one of the best defensive boxers in the history of the sport.
McGregor's a very good striker in the realm of mixed martial arts, and 18 of his 21 victories have come via knockout. If he has an opening, he can end the fight with one punch. But that's far easier said than done against the 40-year-old Mayweather, who didn't look to have lost a step in his most recent fight, a unanimous decision win over Andre Berto in September 2015.
McGregor shared a video of his training on June 29:
In doing so, he unintentionally illustrated the gulf between himself and Mayweather, who also posted a training clip on the same day:
According to OddsShark, McGregor is a 4-1 underdog against Mayweather.
McGregor may be able to silence his critics in Las Vegas in a little over three weeks, but many more experienced fighters stepped into the ring against Mayweather with the same intention and exited in defeat.