Jones, who is part of Mayweather’s training camp, says sparring footage that shows McGregor struggling in the ring with mid-tier boxer Van Heerden could be part of an elaborate ploy.
I think I’ve seen that sparring. First of all, like I said, I looked at it, but to me it looked (like) it’s a possibility it could be staged. We don’t fall for that, we prepare for anything. Please believe me, I looked at it and I came up with my opinion that it could have been for real but it could have been staged. I don’t know. His style is a different style from Floyd. I don’t want nobody messing with Floyd. He may be more difficult than Floyd’s gonna be for him. Styles make fights. He may give him a different look inside this ring when he’s sparring him than what Floyd’s gonna give him. We don’t take none of that light…I looked it and after a while I watched the whole entirety of it, but I know that it could be staged and that don’t mean anything. We’re not gonna take that lightly. That don’t mean nothing to us. I looked at it, but it don’t mean anything. We’re gonna train like never before. I don’t think Floyd looked at it cause he don’t do that. We’re not worried about that, we don’t worry about that. When you look bad, it don’t matter to us because they could be staged.
Van Heerden explains why he released a video of him sparring with McGregor along with comments where he said McGregor would not be able to ‘land’ a punch on Mayweather.
Because people are tweeting and talking and telling me that Mayweather has his hands full landing on Conor McGregor. 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.
Despite his earlier comments, he says that McGregor has a small change.
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, who sparred with McGregor in May 2016, says McGregor cannot beat Mayweather at boxing. Van Heerden says that despite having just come back from vacation and being out of shape, he still “landed at will” on McGregor.
I had an opportunity to work with him. It’s crazy I read all of these posts where people go: Mayweather is gonna have his hands full landing on McGregor because of Conor’s skill and footwork and Mayweather. I’m no Mayweather, and out of camp and out of shape, I landed on Conor McGregor. And my trainer, at my ringside. We landed at will. It is crazy to think that people can actually compare a fighter who is 0/0 compared to a legend that’s 49/0, and who has beaten the best of the best in the world…[McGregor does not have that knockout power.] Mayweather knows how to recover. He hasn’t lost many rounds.
During his sparring sessions, Van Heerden asked McGregor about the chances of a fight with Mayweather actually manifesting.
He laughed about it and he said ‘Mayweather started it and I’m going with it. And everyone wants it, so if it’s there I’m going to take it’. So that’s all he said and we all had a laugh about it.
On a fight with Diaz:
I spoke to Conor and he is so positive. He actually said ‘You know what? If I get the rematch with Nate, I’m now more confident than ever that I will beat him. I know where I made my mistakes and it was in training camp. I will do better next time. I’m confident I will beat him’
Van Heerden tweets about his sparring session with McGregor.