Mayweather vs McGregor: What do Conor McGregor's sparring partners think?
Gym stories before Floyd Mayweather fight
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 15/08/17 4:16pm
The truth about Conor McGregor's boxing skills from the sparring partners that he has faced...
Two-weight world champion
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Chris van Heerden
Van Heerden said: Does he have boxing skills? Yes he does. I was surprised. We moved around throwing punches but we weren't trying to take each other's heads off. For an MMA fighter, Conor has some real boxing skills.
His counter left hand caught me once or twice, before I figured it out. That's his best punch because he's got good timing. But he keeps his whole head in front of his body, and you can't do that against Mayweather. I assume they will work on that.
He told me that he was an amateur boxer, and I could see that, because he knows what he's doing. I thought at that point: If McGregor focuses on only boxing for six months he will shock a lot of people. He needs to focus on moving his feet and throwing punches in combinations.
Conor is a cool guy - nothing but respect. He's very humble and it was a pleasure to work with him. I sparred him when he was preparing for a rematch with Nate Diaz [last year], because I'm also a tall southpaw. This was the time that the McGregor-Mayweather talk started.
Bradley said: He's got the power to knock Mayweather out. The likes of Gennady Golovkin have explosive power in their punches but Conor has consistent power in every single punch from the first moment to the end of the fight.
You can see in Conor's style that he was a boxer before he was an MMA fighter. He doesn't move like a boxer, but he can keep up the pace that he uses in MMA. He's in and out for 12 full rounds - he does not tire. He's very consistent, very powerful and very unpredictable. His MMA background helps him.
Conor is very smart in the ring - he's smarter than people give him credit for. He's faster at reading things than I am. He's always aware of what's coming.
I would normally box as a counter-puncher, like Mayweather. I've got fast feet. I usually hold my hands below my chin in a Philly guard. But I'm not here to replicate Mayweather, I'm here to push Conor in sparring. They told me not to change my usual style. They said: 'box however you want to box'.
It's a massive compliment to be asked to train with him before the Mayweather fight. If people see me box they would be shocked.
Adolphe said: When I got in the ring with Conor, in my head, I underestimated his skills. He shocked me. I've had a great amateur background but he shocked me. I was surprised by the level that he's at. The public will be shocked at what they see.
Conor is a scientist when it comes to this sport. His overall movement and skills were of a very high level.
They asked me to be myself, but at the end of the day, I'm here to help Conor. If I get a chance to replicate what Floyd may do, I will do what I can - but overall, I'm myself. I've got a lot of speed and I'm a thinking fighter. The thing that's closest to Mayweather is my build (we're a similar height) and my speed.
Boxers could learn a thing or two from MMA fighters. Mayweather vs McGregor will change how a lot of boxers fight.