Meet McGregor’s sparring partners for Mayweather
Meet 3 of Conor McGregor’s sparring partners for Floyd Mayweather, courtesy of BloodyElbow.com.
Conor McGregor is currently training in Dublin for his mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather. The two-division UFC champion has brought in a few sparring partners to help him prepare for the next few weeks of training in Ireland, before eventually moving their camp over to the United States when the fight gets closer.
Three of the sparring partners tasked to help him prepare for Mayweather have been revealed to the public, and info on the boxers can be seen below.
When McGregor needed a sparring partner to emulate the tall and lanky Nate Diaz in the past, his connections to the Irish Olympic boxing team referred him to Conor Wallace. Now that he’s preparing for Mayweather, Wallace reffered him to a young up-and-comer in Tiernan Bradley.
Bradley is a 20-year-old Irish boxer with over a hundred amateur bouts to his name. He is the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games silver medalist, and a 2017 Irish elite semi-finalist. Perhaps more importantly, he grew up idolizing Floyd Mayweather and has been trying to pattern his style off the sure-fire hall-of-famer for years.
“I hope I can bring that amateur style to the camp and to Conor’s preparations. Professionals tend to be a bit more flat-footed, whereas I would tend to try and be on my toes a bit more,” he told the Irish News. “Obviously I’m not saying I’m like Mayweather, but hopefully I can bring some qualities that are similar to Mayweather.”
He is currently under contract to be a sparring partner for the next two weeks, and has already gone at least 9 rounds with the UFC champ as of this writing.
The second fighter to be revealed to the public is Dashon Johnson. The 29-year-old is 9-2 in MMA and is a two-fight UFC veteran. While he didn’t get far during his UFC stint, he is much better as a boxer.
He has 47 professional boxing bouts to his name, winning a couple of regional titles and being known as a talented gatekeeper in the process. His 22-21-3 overall record may not the most impressive of resumes, but he has found a good spot as a trusted and reliable sparring partner for high level boxers.
Johnson had also been assigned to emulate Mayweather in the past, as the 5-foot-9 fighter joined Manny Pacquiao’s camp to prepare the Filipino for their 2015 bout. He will look to continue to do the same as he spars with McGregor in the Dublin stretch of their fight camp.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the biggest boxing fight in history against Floyd Mayweather,” Johnson wrote on social media. “Now I’ll be part of this mega-fight which should surpass all records. I will give every ounce of me to make sure McGregor is at his best so we can really make history.”
McGregor has posted photos of his recent sparring with Johnson, where he also hinted at switching stances.
Perhaps the least known of McGregor’s sparring partners is local fighter Jay Byrne. He’s a 30-year-old soccer player, who also doubles as a manager and pro-boxer. The Irish fighter made his professional debut a year ago, and has already compiled a 5-2 record in that stretch.
Byrne dropped a decision to British Olympic boxer Josh Kelly last April, and got back to the winning track last May. He also pulled out of a recent bout against yet another Olympian to rehab an injury, before eventually training with McGregor in Dublin.
Watch his win from last February below. He doesn’t seem to share many of Mayweather’s attributes, but as with the norm in boxing, some sparring partners are just there to help give the fighter different looks and much needed rounds.
McGregor will be moving his camp to the United States in a few weeks and he is expected to spar with a new group of people as well.