Paulie Malignaggi wasn't brought in to be a helpful sparring partner like typical sparring partners are used.
He was brought in as a practice opponent/fight and to see where Conor stood against a legit boxer. It was a fight with headgear, that's why all the UFC execs and Lorenzo Fertitta were there to watch the "sparring session" with popcorn in hand.
Conor was slightly offended by the things said when Conor first got his boxing license last year, but Conor is a professional, he heard what Paulie said about him and jumped at the opportunity to use him.
Nothing good was to come out of this for Paulie. If he got the better of Conor.. well he's supposed to. But he wouldn't have video image proof.
This helps sell the fight. Even though Paulie works for Showtime and is friends with Mayweather, this is all good for ticket sales! It shows Conor dropped a former world champ and can actually box. Paulie actually gave him credibility heading into this fight.
It's a win/win for Conor. Paulie can tell Mayweather he got his ass kicked and Mayweather might take Conor more serious, or Paulie could say "I worked him, that was his best combo on video" and Mayweather might underestimate Conor.
But after reviewing everything that's gone down and heard each side, it definitely isn't a publicity stunt, it was a work of art by Conor and the UFC only gaining credibility for Conor. Even Robert Garcia said that would've been ruled a knockdown.
This footage and sparring between Paulie Malignaggi and Conor Mcgregor is going more viral than the world tour!