McGregor’s team has retained the services of retired Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez. Cortez will work for six weeks with McGregor and his team, conducting eight and twelve round fight simulations – where Cortez reads the rules and initial warnings, basically recreating a scenario similar to a professional boxing match. Cortez has worked in 986 professional bouts, of which 176 were world title fights.
They (McGregor’s group) were looking for a referee with a broad knowledge of the rules…for me it’s an honor. I’m working with McGregor as a unified boxing advisor. My job is to teach him not to commit any mistakes during his fight against Mayweather Jr…This will be a fight between a boxer and a mixed martial arts specialist. As I said, my role will be to prepare McGregor so that he does not commit any breach of the rules on the day of the fight. It’s an opportunity to recreate fights and their rules. He is a fighter who is learning very fast and has previous experience in fights and is moving quite well. The only thing I can say is that it will be an interesting fight.
While others are focusing on McGregor’s height, boxing trainer Virgil Hunter takes note of some issues with McGregor’s physique.
One of the things that I noticed is that [McGregor’s] body – he has the waist of a model. He doesn’t have a fight trunk…he has a waist as opposed to a trunk. There’s a difference. You know, a trunk is strong, powerful, thick — not only be able to take it but get out of the way. But he has more of a model’s waist and if I’m thinking like Floyd, I’m thinking about the body because his body’s gonna be very vulnerable to body shots. Everything is sitting right there for you to touch. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of in-fighting on Floyd’s behalf…Also [McGregor] has what we call ‘The Fighter’s Curse.’ He has bone ridges over his eyes. I noticed he has cut a lot in the eyes in MMA fighting. He also has that jutting chin. So that’s a curse within itself also. But I expect him to cut over the eyes because of the bone ridges, and when those snapping punches hit you over the eyes like that he’ll get cut worse that he did in MMA. In my opinion he’ll cut up.
Lockhart, who is working for McGregor in preparation for his fight with Mayweather, says nutritional tweaks are necessary going from one sport to the other, with the prominent change being a reduction in walking around weight.
With an MMA match, wrestling, (jiu-jitsu and) having someone on top of you, weight matters – with wrestling it does have a huge effect. With boxing, I believe speed is key. If I’m bigger than you but can’t hit you, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. Not as much grappling, the referee pulls you apart as soon as that does happen. I want to make sure the fighter is lower in weight, the cut is not as big and the reload is not as much…For an MMA fighter to reload, they’ll gain 15, 18 pounds, which gives them that advantage (on fight night). [For] boxing, I want him actually walking in close to weight the week of the fight. Walking in, weighing in and maybe gaining a couple pounds after that.
Former world cruiser-weight champion, Johnny Nelson, says Mayweather’s age could catch up with him against a ‘hungry’ McGregor.
Floyd Mayweather is 40 years old. He’s been out of the ring for a while. I know he’s top tier, we’re thinking there’s no chance this guy [will lose], but Conor McGregor is very fast individual, he’s got power in both hands. We want to see how age has affected Floyd Mayweather. In my head, Floyd does it hands down, but let’s not forget he’s in there against a 29-year-old hungry man that can hit, that’s fast and that wants it. So it is not a done deal…Guys that come from mixed martial arts, if you’re top level, you will blitz everybody until you come against someone who is technically supreme at boxing because your defence is too open. You saw this with Wladimir and Vitaly Klitschko. When they first came into boxing, especially Wladimir, he was getting knocked out, pick-pocketed, especially when he came against class fighters…They’ve got to tighten up a bit, change the balance, change the positioning. But fitness is second to none.
I’m telling you, he’s really going to knock him out. I really think it’s going to be a bad mismatch, I swear to God. I feel it. If you look at Mayweather: he’s in the strip club every night, he’s at a basketball game, he’s doing all this stuff. He’s not really focused, man. A lot of people don’t understand about Conor; he takes notes after every training session. He goes home and watches the tape, takes notes and literally.. it’s different for him. For Mayweather this is a sport, for us this is a lifestyle. Mayweather’s not a martial artist, so Conor is a different level from him.
Dillon Danis Says Conor McGregor had His Back During Marcelo Garcia Fallout
Mayweathe Promotions CEO, Leonard Ellerbe, says McGregor is trying to fool the world with his apparent slow pace in his training videos.
Conor McGregor is a smart dude. He’s a smart dude. Do y’all actually believe that footage he put out there is real? I’m just being honest. Do you honestly believe that he put that footage out there and it’s real looking the way it looked? C’mon now. Guess what? He tricked all y’all. Every last one of you. That he looked slow on the bag, he’s doing this and doing that. Y’all can fall for it. We’re not…I see a guy who’s got tremendous timing..Tremendous timing. How he’s coming over the top of guys’ jabs and when he touches them and turns it over, and then he’s doing damage. I mean, real damage. If he ain’t knocking him out, they’re falling down. And then they be messed up.
McGregor’s management categorically deny Vargas’ claim that Brandon Rios knocked out McGregor while sparring during training. Having been previously misreported in the media that Bradley Wheeler was, in fact, the man who KO’d McGregor, McGregor’s team clarify that neither Rios or Wheeler have sparred with Conor.
The guy mentioned by Jessie Vargas is Brandon Rios, not Brad Wheeler. Neither have sparred with Conor.
Tony McGregor insists racism claims against his son are wrong. During the recent world press tour, McGregor was criticised for telling Mayweather to “dance for me, boy” – a phrase that has racial overtones in the United States. He further inflamed the claims by stating that he could not be racist because “I am half-black from the belly button down.” Father Tony says:
Conor is absolutely, unequivocally not racist. It’s not about skin colour. No two combatants would ever get into a ring and the issue would be the colour of their opposing skin. No, absolutely not. It’s a fight issue, not a race issue.
“Fighter at rest” 2017. “Boxer at rest” 323 B.C. I told you fools I’m a statue waiting to happen. Someone get on that quick, and stuff one in the middle of every City that I’ve taken over. In other words – EVERY FUCKING CITY.
Rios says that reports of him knocking out McGregor in sparring, as relayed by Brendan Vargas, are not true, and that he has never met McGregor.
No man. Vargas is f-cking about. I never met that motherf-cker. I know nothing about him, but I’d like to spar him. It’s a f-cking rumor man. I’ve been getting text messages. Phone blowing up. I don’t even know who he is.
Brandon Rios Answers: Never Met CONOR MCGREGOR Never Sparred Him That's FAKE NEWS!!!! EsNews Boxing
White says that, after watching videos of McGregor boxing, that the Irishman will not beat Mayweather through standard boxing techniques.
All I’ve seen are stuff that he’s [McGregor] sent me, videos that he’s sent me. Listen he’s not a boxer, at the end of the day, Conor McGregor is not a boxer, he’s a fighter. Conor McGregor is the bigger, stronger guy and needs to hit Floyd Mayweather and needs to hurt him. I don’t see him out-pointing Floyd in a boxing match. I see him getting in, turning it into a fight and roughing Floyd up. I believe in this fight Floyd is going to fight traditionally the way that Floyd fights, the best defensive fighter ever.
DANA WHITE REVEALS MCGREGOR SENT HIM TRAINING VIDEOS; ADMITS "HE'S NOT A BOXER" AFTER WATCHING
In Sligo, the man who used to sell McGregor clothes, says McGregor has changed fashion in Ireland. EJ Menswear shop owner, Eamonn Cunningham, has noticed a huge upsurge in the sale of three-piece suits since McGregor has become so popular.
The menswear business in Ireland has a lot to thank Conor McGregor for.
McGregor defends Mayweather calling him a ‘faggot’.
I actually didn’t even hear that. People are so touchy on words. It’s absolutely crazy. If he said that, I couldn’t give a f-ck I think what he was trying to do was to switch it up and get the people back in his favor. I think it was a bit of a shit move to try and instigate that on me. Everyone with a sane mind that is watching knows what way it is. It is what it is. Some dirty tactics out there, but that’s what to expect. The fight game is a ruthless business.
During the press tour event in London, Mayweather says he will fight McGregor in the Octagon.
FM: I can conquer any country. They should have come and got me for the UFC, if you wanted a real champion. I run the Octagon. I run the ring. Me! If you say something else I’ll whoop your as in the Octagon.
CMG: When I spark you August 26th I’m gonna make you face me in the rematch in the Octagon. And then we’ll see if you’re all talk or not.
Following the final press conference of the world tour in London, McGregor talks about fighting Nurmagomedov in Russia:
It’s certainly one of the things I would like to do. Whether it’s next, I don’t know. I don’t even know how close the Russia thing is. Whether Khabib can pull his shit together; he missed weight…There’s a few of them in the mix. A few of them need to pull their shit together, though, and get interest going and get me interested. Right now I don’t actually see anything.
On Nate Diaz:
That Diaz trilogy is also on my mind. He should really be thankful. Before he fought me he was [getting paid] 20,000 to show and 20,000 to win. His 19th fight in the UFC, and he was on 40 grand. Now he’s a multi-millionaire. So, I don’t know why he’s sitting there so bitter. Maybe them smacks he took in that rematch messed with his head a little bit. I hope not, but I think they did.
After the Brooklyn press conference, McGregor is asked about heading to England. Reporter:
You’re getting ready to get back to England, which is kind of home to you.
McGregor’s response is rapid.
I’m an Irishman. It’s separated by water. It’s not…English people have always been good to me. I’ve fought in England, I’ve been to England many times. They’ve always been close to Ireland and I look forward to going back.
CONOR MCGREGOR TALKS CANELO-GGG, HIS THOUGHTS ON FACING THE WINNER, & WAR OF WORDS WITH MAYWEATHER
Racism still exists but you know, I try to take something negative and turn it into something positive…We all know there’s only 2 types of boys — a white boy and a cowboy — and I’m neither. I’m just joking…I’m not upset at all…A lot of people say that Conor McGregor is racist but I’m not worried about that. It’s about going out there, doing my job. [When he said the boy comment] it is what it is. He’s entitled to feel how he wants to feel. I just want to stay in my zone and stay focused.
McGregor and Drake share a hug before the fighter’s press conference in Toronto with Mayweather. At the event, Drake introduces both fighters:
Listen, I’m gonna be honest. I came here to witness history with each and every one of you. The biggest fight in the history of fighting. And of course they had to come to the greatest city in the world to do a press conference. So, whether it is Floyd Money Mayweather, or whether it is the Notorious Conor McGregor. I just want to welcome these two fighters to the great city of Toronto. Let’s get into the shit!
While McGregor is talking to the press about the conference…
The old man came. I don’t know which one was which. The senior, the junior. I got confused.
Mayweather Snr. stats to heckle him, saying he’ll ‘beat McGregor’s ass’. McGregor responds, jokingly calling the older Mayweather ‘junior’.
You’ll get your chance on August 26, Junior. Relax Junior, we’re fighting August 26. I want no trouble, Junior….Your boy’s in trouble. He’s too small. I’m just telling you. His little legs, little core, small head. Yous made a big mistake. You got greedy. You could have been 49 and 0. Rode off into the sunset. He got greedy. You misadvised him. You should have kept him retired. It’s your fault…Your boy is going to sleep. I tell you what though, he’s gonna wake up a better man.
Staying on in Dublin after Coldplay’s sold out Croke Park gig on Saturday night, Martin visits Straight Blast Gym on the Naas Road for a private training session with Kavanagh, before downing a pint at McDowell’s pub in Inchicore. Kavanagh Instagrams himself posing with Martin:
Good training today with my boy Chris Martin @coldplay kicks like a donkey but needs bit of work on his uppercuts.
He also shares a Facebook post with many Coldplay-related puns.
White talks about the upcoming McGregor-Mayweather fight.
Conor is a madman. He’s gonna let Floyd know what he’s gonna do and how he’s gonna do it. And everyone’s been saying to me this whole time, ‘Do you think that Conor can really beat Mayweather?’. Look Pacquiao was just beaten by a schoolteacher…I stopped doubting Conor McGregor a long time ago. I told my partner, Lorenzo Fertita a long time ago, ‘I don’t know if this kid can fight, but if he can even throw a punch, he’s gonna be a huge superstar’…Last night I landed at LAX and Conor landed at the same time from Ireland. He gets off, looks like he was just fitted at Armani and says, ‘I will knock this man out in four rounds’.
Conor McGregor says he will KO Mayweather in 4 Rounds
While shopping in LA’s Rodeo Drive, McGregor is asked about the $99.95 PPV price:
I’m confident…It should be $120.
And about reports that Mayweather took the fight because he has to pay $100 million in taxes.
That’s gotta sting. He shoulda paid his taxes and stayed retired and kept my name out of his mouth!..I’ll be smart [with my money]. I don’t care what he done. He’s f-cked now. He should have paid his taxes and stayed retired And kept my name out of his mouth.
White says that he will be accompanying McGregor on every stop on the press tour, and says he’s not entirely sure how the whole scene is going to play out, especially with so many unpredictable characters involved. He also says that
It’s going to be a f-cking shitshow. You know that. Absolute shitshow. So, I don’t know. It’s going to be crazy…It’s going to be a hybrid of the boxing press conferences and UFC press conferences…. I think it’s going to be more like a boxing press conference than it is our press conferences. You know how mine are. No bullshit. We walk in, and we sit down and, ‘What’s up? Who has the first question,’ and we get it rolling. I think there’s going to be a lot more bullshit in this one…I’m going to sit there with a mic, and when you ask me a question I will answer it. I’m not going to get up and give any speeches or do anything like that. I think Conor and I will come in, Conor and I will sit down, and we’ll answer questions when asked questions. I think that the rest of the people that are going to come in – I think there’s going to be a lot of people that come in and talk and have speeches.
Mayweather Senior, who is training his son for his upcoming fight with McGregor, says McGregor will not win.
If Floyd stops him or not—it doesn’t make a difference for me. As long as Floyd beats the hell out of him. And that’s what I believe is gonna happen…Even if [Conor] goes the distance, [Floyd’s] gonna whoop his ass!
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR HAS WARNING: I GOT A FEW PRESENTS FOR CONOR. HE WON’T BE ABLE TO SPELL AFTER.
In an interview in The 42, Coach Kavanagh says McGregor is not using a specialised boxing coach, and that only he and Owen Roddy are involved in training. Together they will McGregor was on course to have completed the equivalent of 44 full boxing bouts by the time he climbs through the ropes at the T-Mobile Arena.
It’s just me and Owen. We’re the only trainers involved. You know, we thought about getting a boxing trainer involved, but we don’t have five years to prepare for this, we had – I don’t know – 11, 12 weeks. So if we brought someone else in, there’s the whole thing of trying to fit them into the way we do things. And at this stage, Conor’s not learning how to jab. He knows how to throw a jab. We kicked the idea around, and we decided, ‘You know what? We’ve gotten this far together, we seem to have a formula that works, let’s keep going with what we have.
In an interview with The 42, Kavanagh says McGregor was upset about not adding Dublin to the world promo tour.
[Wembley is not close to Ireland!] It’s not. I don’t know why it’s not coming to Dublin. If I say the Americans are idiots, I can see the headline! But it was very, very short-sighted. And it’s typical of American promotions, in my opinion. It’s like the UFC, when you go to Sweden and you do the walk-out time to suit people on the west coast of America. It’s ridiculous! If [Alexander] Gustafsson is fighting in Sweden, he should be walking out at 9:30pm Swedish time. And I see this as being that same short-sightedness, on behalf of some Americans… I’ll tone it down a bit!..You know, it’s a case of, ‘Where’s Ireland? Ah, that’s the UK, isn’t it? Let’s stick it in London’. And we were like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!’ They just saw it as a bigger audience. What’s Dublin got, 1.2 million people? And London has, what, 10 million? But who cares? Wherever you put it – let’s say they put it in a 10,000 stadium – okay, well that’s 10,000 people in London, but it would have been 10,000 people in Dublin. You would have easily filled the 3Arena, and then everybody in London would tune in anyway and watch it on Youtube. Absolute short-sightedness. They just think Ireland, UK, same thing. ‘Ah, it’s Europe’. It really bugged me, and I know Conor wasn’t over the moon about it either.
Y’know I see the division as kind of up for grabs. Conor’s going to box. I know they said some things about him coming back in December. You never know: $100 million lets someone relax a little bit. Who knows if we see him back then?…I believe that title should be vacated, because he’s signing over to another sport. As I look at the division, I don’t see a champion right now.
Wallace, a six-time All Ireland boxing champion who sparred with McGregor in Las Vegas for six weeks in preparation for the Nate Diaz rematch, says McGregor;s chances should not be written off:
Like a lot of people are writing him off but he has proved a lot of people wrong so far. Look he’s fighting Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time, but he has youth on his side, you never know what he’s going to do. He’s elusive, he’s very accurate when he punches, he doesn’t miss a lot. At the end of the day you never know what is going to happen in one of the biggest nights in boxing history. I know everybody thinks Mayweather is going to win but you just can’t write him off…He’s strong but it’s mostly the fact that he is so accurate, it’s more the crisp in the punch rather than the power. Like if [Mayweather] was caught flush with a left hand he would probably go down…In my heart I’d love to see him do it and for the whole of Ireland I’d love to see him doing it but it is a massive ask.
Ward urges McGregor to use MMA-style moves to gain an advantage over Mayweather.
I don’t think this is going to be as easy as people think…for Floyd Mayweather. I am a Floyd fan, Floyd’s a legend and he is going to take care of business, don’t get me wrong. But Floyd is 40 years old and McGregor is a lot younger, he is naturally bigger and, if he has nothing else, he has a big left hand – he has one hand that if he lands it can cause some trouble. Now I don’t think that he is going to land that shot but just the movements that Conor has, the awkward, martial arts type of movements, it’s going to take a few rounds for Floyd to kinda figure him out. Ultimately, I think he will, but I think it will be interesting early…[McGregor] is not going to end it early. I wouldn’t focus on the knockout because if he goes out there looking for the knockout, he could get knocked out. I wouldn’t totally abandon the martial arts moves, like I said, some of the awkward things he does. Obviously he can’t lift his legs, and that’s going to be a challenge in and of itself, to not kick Floyd or grapple Floyd like he would in an octagon, but be who you are. We are going to work on boxing, but be awkward, be as awkward as you can, make it ugly because if it’s a close fight where there is an argument and it’s the sixth or seventh round, it’s close, [people are asking] who’s winning, that’s a win for [McGregor].”
Andre Ward Says Mayweather-McGregor Will Go More Than One Round | First Take | June 30, 2017
Jeffries, who won a bronze medal in boxing at the 2008 Olympic Games, and has watched McGregor spar with Van Heerden, says McGregor’s critics are wrong.
I was there for the spar and have been there for many spars and they have been competitive, certainly not one way like everyone is making out. People see McGregor take a punch and they jump on him. Van Heerden is a world class boxer though, always in great shape and McGregor gave him problems in there. If I came in and saw him sparring and never knew who McGregor was, I would think he was a high-level professional boxer, not a mixed martial artist or a novice boxer. I thought this guy can fight and box…The one thing that I was very impressed with when I saw him spar was his athleticism, his elusiveness and the way he comes back with that counter left hand. Even when not in training camp and at full fitness, he still has that potent weapon.
Bradley says he was brought into McGregor’s camp after being recommended by Conor Wallace, the Northern Irish amateur boxer who was called upon to help McGregor prepare for his rematch with Nate Diaz. Wallace’s recommended Bradley’s because he is replicate the Mayweather style. Bradley:
People laugh when they hear me saying I can replicate Mayweather. I guess nobody can move like Floyd, but I’ve been studying everything about the guy for the last 13 years. I know what way he moves and I know how he moves into his punches. I know how he reacts to getting hit. I feel like I’m able to bring that in to help Conor as he prepares for this fight. When I’m competing, I don’t necessarily use Mayweather’s style, but I definitely use some of his tools. The step-back right hand and check left hook are two techniques I use a lot. And of course, I use some of his defensive tactics to stop me getting hit.
On McGregor’s boxing ability:
Conor is a very good boxer. He doesn’t move like any other boxer. He’s powerful, fast and light on his feet … He’s very good at getting in and out and connecting. He’s so quick on his feet it’s very hard to judge the distance with him. He’s so fast and unpredictable — that’s a very dangerous combination. I don’t think Mayweather has ever boxed anyone like that. He has this strange style and he can keep going at a serious pace for 12 rounds. He’s on his toes and he’s constantly keeping you guessing…I’ve got a black eye at the moment and I got that from him when he was wearing 16-ounce gloves. I don’t know if you’ve seen the photo that he uploaded onto his Instagram after our session. People are talking about his left hand and whether the power will be there with 10-ounce gloves — he lifted me off my feet with a right uppercut in 16 (ounce gloves)! That shot came out of nowhere. It was so fast and powerful. I can tell you now that those kinds of shots would drop boxers, and that was his right hand…I know he’ll give Floyd a hard fight. This will not be a walkover. I really think whoever puts more into their camp will win it. I know that Conor is putting in the work and that his confidence is through the roof. He’s going to be ready when fight night comes around.
Frampton talks about the McGregor-Mayweather fight:
I don’t think that the fight is bad for boxing. I think that if McGregor wins, then that’s bad for boxing. I don’t think he will. It’s an event – go and see it – it gets people talking about boxing. How can it be bad for boxing? You look at what’s happening now – It’s almost like any show that’s half decent has to be on pay-per-view, and you have to pay extra money to watch it… But I think this event – Mayweather and McGregor – it can’t be anything but good for boxing, unless Mcgregor wins, and then it’s bad because we all look like mugs.
Minnette says he wants to see less Clay in Season 2.
Everyone really loves each other and it really is a family now at this point. I want to see other people do more on the show. I want to see more stories from the other characters. Clay can take a seat on the sidelines.
White says McGregor has told him that following the Mayweather fight, he wants to face Khabib Nurmagomedov — in Russia, which would make it the first UFC fight held there.
You know what Conor told me? ‘I want Khabib in Russia.’ Isn’t he f-cking awesome?…Conor McGregor is a f-cking unicorn. There’s nothing like him. He’s working on boxing Floyd Mayweather and then he’s talking about fighting Khabib in Russia right after…Those are the kind of things that make that kid a f-cking superstar. I’ve got guys telling me, ‘I don’t want to shit – I don’t want to fight this guy, and I don’t want to do this.’ [McGregor says], ‘I want Floyd Mayweather then I want f-cking Khabib in Russia.’ How do you not love him? How do you not love Conor McGregor? Amazing.
Espinoza, the executive vice president of Showtime Sports, talks about the possibility of seeing a Superman punch by McGregor, an MMA technique that is legal in boxing against Mayweather.
That’s well within the rules. A back fist probably wouldn’t be, but there is a lot of different things that can be thrown to throw off timing. I can guarantee Floyd has never seen someone coming and throwing a Superman punch.
MCGREGOR CAN USE ONE MMA MOVE AGAINST MAYWEATHER THAT WILL BE LEGAL; ESPINOZA ADMITS CONCERN
While preparing for his third professional boxing bout this weekend in Australia on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn bout, Conlan says he is still hoping to get on the McGregor-Mayweather undercard.
[Floyd]’s never going to win a talking shit match with Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor is on a different level when it comes to that — and that affects people. It’s hard to see how it goes because Floyd is almost unbeatable, well he has been unbeatable. Conor is Conor, so he’s going to come out and give it his all. I’m excited, I wished him good luck. I asked him to try and get me on the show but I haven’t heard back, so I don’t think it’s going to happen.
MICHAEL CONLAN – 'ITS CRAZY CONOR McGREGOR IS NOT A BOXER & HE'S GOT BIGGEST PAID DEBUT IN HISTORY'
I think Marc Goddard should be the referee. We’re already agreeing to boxing rules, boxing fight, boxing ring — everything is done boxing. So, how about an MMA referee that will understand the inside fighting that will go into this fight?
Pacquiao, who is currently preparing for his WBO welterweight championship fight against Jeff Horn, says the McGregor-Mayweather fight will be ‘boring,’ and that he will be watching the ‘real’ boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
McGregor has no chance in this fight. In fact, it could be very boring. There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. How could he? He has no professional experience in boxing. The real fight and the best fight is Golovkin versus Canelo. The best versus the best. That’s the fight I will be watching.
He also says he is interested in a rematch with Mayweather if he beats Horn.
If there’s a chance, why not? I’m willing. I know my body. I’m ready. I’m not underestimating [Horn]. I’m not taking him lightly. I’m working hard.