Former IBO welterweight champion Chris van Heerden has sparred with Conor McGregor in the past. With the UFC champion’s cross-over fight with Floyd Mayweather being made official, the South African boxer took to social media to talk about Conor’s chances.
The 29-year-old boxer posted clips of his sparring session with McGregor, and says that it’s “crazy” that people actually think Mayweather will have his hands full.
“I sparred with McGregor, off season, coming from a holiday, out of shape and basically playing and having fun, and being me. Not even focused, not even in camp, out of shape,” Van Heerden told TMZ. “I’m reading all these comments saying Floyd will have his hands full landing on Conor because of his footwork, skills and movement. I’m no Mayweather, out of camp, and out of shape — and we landed at will.
“It’s crazy to think that people can actually compare a fighter that’s 0-0 in a boxing ring, to a legend that’s 49-0. If you look at his resume, he fought the best of the best in the world.”
He doesn’t think Conor will be able to land well, but even if he does, Van Heerden doesn’t think it would be enough.
“No (he won’t have the KO power), not with 10 oz gloves,” he said. “He fought Maidana that landed. He got rocked by Sugar Shane Mosley, and I’ve got the opportunity of working with Shane — he can punch. (Floyd’s) been hit by guys that can punch, and he’s so good, he knows how to recover.”
Van Heerden also addressed criticism he has received for posting a training video and making it public.
McGregor’s camp indeed released the footage first, with it even drawing some controversy as well with people claiming it was edited to make the UFC fighter look good. Van Heerden has also gone on record, saying he has “shocking” footage clearly showing that he’s the pro-boxer in the session.
Fast forward to today, and it seems like the clip above is what Van Heerden was mentioning.
It is also interesting to note that for some reason, Mayweather is currently just a -550 favorite against McGregor. That means that other boxing champs such as Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana, and Andre Berto were all much bigger underdogs than the UFC fighter with a 0-0 boxing record.