A couple of weeks ago, the internet was buzzed after footage of Conor McGregor sparring Chris van Heerden surfaced, and now the former boxing champ has talked in length about that day.
Footage of the sparring session was posted by multiple outlets, and not long afterwards, van Heerden relayed he was impressed with what McGregor showcased in the ring. It was also big news at the time, as rumors about a possible boxing match between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather were everywhere (since then talk of the bout has died down…somewhat).
Well, recently van Heerden appeared on “Submission Radio“, and the South African boxer opened up about sparring McGregor. Van Heerden once again praised McGregor for his boxing pedigree, and said that if the UFC star focused on his hands, he could see the Irish fighter surprising a lot of boxers.
Van Heerden also, however, had this to say about the sparring sessions (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“…I had no idea that this footage was taken with the sense of getting it out there. So people have got to understand, sparring is sparring. We’re not in there to kill each other. And then again, I just came off a one-month holiday (and went) back in the gym. (It was the) first time I laced up gloves.”
“And I’ve got footage on my phone that would probably shock everyone, but I was happy. I was happy because I knew I was in control every round and I was happy with what I wanted to feel.”
“Once that footage got out, people were forming opinions. And I’ve got sparring footage where you can clearly see I’m the professional boxer and not Conor.”
Now, some McGregor die-hard fans might see argue van Heerden is just trying to save face, but really, what’s been said here shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Van Heerden has a 24-2-1 record in boxing, and has competed at the highest levels of the sport, so one would expect him to get the better of McGregor in the ring.
This is why so many folks have scoffed at the idea of McGregor boxing Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time. The chances of it being a competitive bout are small to none. Just as it would be if Mayweather, or van Heerden, faced McGregor in the Octagon.