Exclusive: Van Heerden talks McGregor spar, eyes new promoter
South African welterweight Chris Van Heerden has spoken to WBN about the circumstances surrounding his recent sparring session with UFC star Conor McGregor.
The 28 year-old revealed that he was approached to help McGregor with a boxing workout amidst rumours that the Irishman is set to share the ring with pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the future.
Having only just returned from a visit to his homeland, California-based Van Heerden stated that he was only too happy to help as he and McGregor got to work at Tony Jeffries’ Box N Burn gym in Los Angeles.
“I was asked last week if I would be open to the idea of putting in a few rounds of boxing with the biggest name in MMA, that being against champion and well-respected fighting man Conor McGregor,” Van Heerden exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Of course, my answer would always be yes as I love challenging myself. I’ve have been in the ring with many top fighters when sparring the likes of Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosley ,Victor Ortiz, Ray Beltran and others, so there’s obviously a reason why they asked for my help.
“Hopefully, I’ve gained a good reputation as I always give anyone 110 percent.”
Van Heerden has recently become a free agent in the promotional sense and is hoping the added exposure of going rounds with McGregor will see him picked up by another top promoter.
‘The Heat’ got back in the win column against Steve Claggett following a spirited effort against future world champion Errol Spence Jr and felt good being back in the ring against a top operator ahead of a ring return later this year.
“I answered a lot of questions to myself since the loss to Spence and the victory over Claggett,” he said. “It was the first time I laced up the gloves since my last fight and had not long been back from holiday in South Africa
“Despite not being ready to get back into sparring right away, I did it for Conor McGregor as the guy is a champion. The man fights for a living and it is in his nature, so if he wants some help to make the transition to boxing I am more than happy to be there.
“He has a boxing background and he knows how to use his hands so it will be interesting to see where he takes his career from here. If he wants to share a few more rounds I’d be more than happy.
“Regarding my next move, I’m just waiting for the right offer and am hoping for another big fight to prove myself again at the top level,” added Van Heerden.