Footage of Conor McGregor sparring with a professional boxer found its way onto the internet a couple weeks ago, fueling speculation that the UFC featherweight champion was preparing for a fight with pound-for-pound boxing great Floyd Mayweather.
And while the fight is highly unlikely, the video only served to intensify the banter between rabid boxing and MMA fans.
Now, the man behind the head gear in McGregor’s sparring video, former IBO welterweight champ Chris Van Heerden, is speaking out on McGregor’s skills. He discussed how he thinks McGregor would fare against Mayweather in a recent interview with FightHype.com, and Van Heerden had some pretty interesting assessments of the Irishman’s skills.
On McGregor’s boxing ability:
Conor McGregor prepares boxing skills for Mayweather fight – ‘TMZ Sports’
“Conor comes with a boxing background. I was surprised how well he could handle it. His boxing is really not bad. I’d say after a full training camp where the focus is 100% boxing, he might just shock a lot of boxing fans,” Van Heerden told FightHype.com. “I’d say he needs work on his footwork. Placing of feet and balance and knowing when to throw the right punch; not just throw anything out there. He has a very good eye for timing and counter punching. I can tell you this, he will give a few boxers out there a really good go.”
On McGregor’s punching power:
“We were sparring with 16-ounce gloves. It’s like pillows (laughing), so it’s hard to tell. I was not at any point shocked. Maybe I did expect a little more power. I will say this, Conor can throw and he has a puncher’s chance. He might just land on the spot once and it could mean trouble. But Floyd is TBE, 49-0 for a reason.”
On his chances in boxing match against Mayweather:
“After a good clean-up on skill, he will be in there for a few rounds, but the truth is Floyd will have his way. He is the master of boxing. No one beats Floyd.”
It appears as if Van Heerden was impressed by McGregor’s boxing skills and feels he could give a few boxers a tough time. But he also admits that Mayweather would probably dominate McGregor in a boxing match … the same way McGregor would dominate Mayweather in MMA. The cycle continues.