Conor McGregor has hired one of Manny Pacquiao’s former sparring partners as he steps up his preparation ahead of his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather.
The two men will meet in the ring at the T-Mobile Arena on August 26, with McGregor attempting to stage one of the greatest upsets in the history of combat sports against Mayweather, who boasts a flawless professional record of 49-0.
To help him prepare for his debut, McGregor has recruited the professional boxer and former mixed martial artist Dashon Johnson, who revealed on his Instagram page that he would be joining the Irishman’s training camp.
“It’s official, I am Team McGregor,” he wrote. “I’m headed to Ireland to help out the legend himself, Conor McGregor, for his upcoming bout against Floyd Mayweather, which is slated to be the biggest fight in combat sports history.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the biggest boxing fight in history against Floyd Mayweather, now I will be part of this mega-fight which should surpass all records.
“I will give every ounce of me to make sure that McGregor is at his best so that we can really make history.”
Johnson has won 22 of his 46 professional bouts and also fights in professional MMA bouts, similar to McGregor. He won nine of his 11 MMA contests between 2012 and 2014 and has twice fought in the UFC, losing on both occasions.
His role in McGregor’s training camp was then confirmed by the two-weight UFC world champion, who shared a series of pictures of the two men sparring in his custom built boxing gym, which is located next to John Kavanagh’s Straight Blast Gym Ireland in Dublin.
“Right hook. Orthodox” he captioned one picture of the two in the ring together, hinting that he will be capable of switching stances during his fight with Mayweather. The 28-year-old predominantly fights from a southpaw stance.
He also posted a series of pictures showing him staying out of Johnson’s reach, with captions such as “I am not there”, “Disappearing” and “Reappearing”. Considering that most experts believe McGregor’s only chance of winning the fight is to go on the offensive from the outset, the images could be an example of gamesmanship on his part.
Meanwhile, Mayweather’s sparring sessions do not appear to be running as smoothly, with the American taking the decision to switch up his camp after he was caught by an accidental headbutt in the gym.
Mayweather’s trainer, Ricky Funez, has revealed that the veteran boxer will now spar with his nephew, Juan, after he suffered a potentially costly clash of heads during his training camp.
“Sam Watson [adviser to Mayweather] wants to set that switch up,” Funez told FightHype.com. “It looks like the other guy that was sparring Mayweather… there was an accidental head butt, hitting him low.
“That’s a $200million fight for Floyd so I don’t think he wants to get cut or anything.”