# Boxing clever
Ex-IBO champ accuses McGregor of editing sparring footage to make himself look good
Chris van Heerden isn’t happy with the UFC star.

Conor McGregor weights-in Raymond Spencer / INPHO UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Raymond Spencer / INPHO / INPHO

IN PREPARATION FOR his rematch against Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor engaged in some boxing sparring with former IBO and IBF welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden at the Box ‘N Burn gym in California back in May.

Afterwards, some footage of their session emerged online and Van Heerden was inundated with interview requests to discuss the boxing prowess of the reigning UFC featherweight champion, who was being linked with a bout against Floyd Mayweather at the time.

Van Heerden said he was impressed by the MMA star’s ability, while also pointing out that people shouldn’t read too much into a sparring session. McGregor moved to mixed martial arts in 2006 after beginning his combat education at Crumlin Boxing Club.

“Conor comes with a boxing background,” Van Heerden told “I was surprised by how well he could handle it. His boxing is really not bad. I’d say after a full training camp where the focus is 100% on boxing, he might just shock a lot of boxing fans.”

Judging by their social media posts, Van Heerden and McGregor had enjoyed a good working relationship. However, that now appears to have changed, particularly after extended footage of their sparring session emerged via, a ‘news channel’ McGregor has launched.

TheMacLife productions / YouTube

The six-minute video appears to show McGregor mostly in the ascendancy during the sparring session with Van Heerden, but the South African doesn’t seem very happy about how their exchange has been depicted. Although he didn’t tag McGregor in the tweet, he expressed his frustration via social media shortly after the video was released last night.

Van Heerden, who lost his IBF title to Errol Spence last September before bouncing back to defeat Steve Clagget this past April, tweeted: “When you have to cut and edit a video clip to putting pieces together to look good, it show[s] me your real character.”

Van Heerden had already appeared irritated by the emergence of footage of the session online when he spoke to Submission Radio in May: “Well, the footage that leaked out — I only afterwards found out, I saw it was all over the internet. I was like, how did this get out? Because I had no idea that this footage was taken with the sense of getting it out there.

“So people have got to understand, sparring is sparring. We’re not in there to kill each other. And then again, I just came off a one-month holiday [and went] back into the gym. [It was the] first time I laced up gloves. And I’ve got footage on my phone that would probably shock everyone, but I was happy. I was happy because I knew I was in control in every round and I was happy with what I wanted to feel.”

Van Heerden added: “I’ve got sparring footage where you can clearly see I’m the professional boxer and not Conor.”

McGregor will aim to avenge his March defeat to Nate Diaz — a tall southpaw, like Van Heerden — when they meet in the main event at UFC 202 in Las Vegas on 20 August.

ESNEWS / YouTube


Van Heerden has since climbed down, deleting his original tweet and issuing an apology.

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