Search icon


18th Jun 2017

Pro boxer who sparred with McGregor doubles down on claims about McGregor’s chances

Alan Loughnane

He says he’s standing up for his sport.

You may have heard the name Chris Van Heerden over the last few days, as he has made headlines for his comments about Conor McGregor.

The Los Angeles-based South African sparred with Conor McGregor last year and recently released a video on social media of the pair sparring with the caption: “People telling me Mayweather will have his hands full trying to land on McGregor -STOP IT! I respect McGregor BUT I ain’t Floyd and I landed.”

He’s been receiving a lot of hate on social media for his comments (we’re sure he doesn’t mind, no publicity is bad publicity after all), and he went on ESPN on Friday to explain his post.

“Because people are tweeting and talking and telling me that Mayweather has his hands full landing on Conor McGregor,” Van Heerden said (Via MMAFighting). “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.”

Van Heerden did not rule out McGregor in the fight completely but from the way he speaks, he’s giving him a puncher’s chance out of respect for the Irish man, rather than genuine belief that he has any chance of upsetting the undefeated Mayweather on August 22.

“It would be ridiculous for me to say he has no opportunity, he has no chance,” Van Heerden 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.”