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Boxer van Heerden on viral sparring footage of McGregor: I released it to wake people up

Chris van Heerden released the Conor McGregor sparring footage to show people that there's 'no way' he beats Mayweather.

Professional boxer and former IBO welterweight champion Chris van Heerden was brought in to help Conor McGregor prepare for last year's epic rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 202.

During his time at SBG Ireland in Dublin, van Heerden, 29, recorded some video footage of his sparring sessions with McGregor.

Shortly after the official announcement of McGregor-Mayweather, which is set to take place on August 26, van Heerden re-posted that footage on social media, and the video soon went viral.

The South African talent got the better of McGregor in the exchanges and told ESPN that he re-released the video to show fans that 'The Notorious' stands little to no chance against the undefeated, 49-0 Mayweather.

“Because people are tweeting and talking and telling me that Mayweather has his hands full landing on Conor McGregor,” Van Heerden said when asked why he uploaded the footage (h/t MMA Fighting) “I’m a professional fighter — boxer. And I’m standing up for the sport. I was just making it very clear that, don’t be ridiculous. If I could land, don’t tell me Floyd Mayweather is not gonna land.”

“This is just a platform to prove that in boxing, a mixed martial artist taking on a boxer in the world of a boxer, you’re not gonna beat a boxer in boxing taking him on if you come from mixed martial arts."

Van Heerden, who has a professional boxing record of 25-2-1, has the utmost respect for McGregor but reiterated that the Irishman stands almost no chance against the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

“It would be ridiculous for me to say he has no opportunity, he has no chance,” he said. “Yes, he has a slight chance of pulling it off. He’s a fighter, he’s a mixed martial artist. He can land one big punch. It can happen. This is fighting, it’s two men in the ring. The opportunity is there. He doesn’t have a zero chance of beating or causing the biggest upset in the sport. Yes, he has. In my opinion and I’m gonna stick by it and I’m not afraid to say it, there’s no way he’s beating Mayweather.

“I have nothing but respect for McGregor. There’s no bad blood. I think [he’s] phenomenal. And being a southpaw, it’s gonna work in his favor. He’s got the power to do it. I wasn’t fazed by his power, I wasn’t hurt. But again, we didn’t have 10-ounce gloves on and he’s got some small chance of causing an upset.”

Van Heerden also released the footage to boost his own image and believes that, with extended training, McGregor could improve his boxing - just not to the level of a world-class craftsman like Mayweather.

“I’m not a Conor McGregor sparring partner. I was not part of the camp. I wasn’t paid to help Conor McGregor. I’m not a sparring partner, I’m a world-rated fighter. I helped him, because I saw the platform. I knew the Conor McGregor-Mayweather thing was gonna pull off, because the energy, the vibes, it was gonna happen. It was gonna happen. And I took advantage.”

“McGregor is a phenomenal athlete. He’s ruling the UFC. Absolutely, I believe he did put in training and he’s still putting in training and yes, he got better. Definitely better. I’m not saying he’s bad. I’m just laying it out as it is.”

The blockbuster fight between McGregor and Mayweather will take place on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.