Coach: Conor McGregor Doing Four Times the Amount of Sparring He Would for MMA Camp

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 6, 2017


It sounds as though Conor McGregor is settling into a training camp groove as he prepares to face Floyd Mayweather in their boxing megafight on Aug. 26.

According to head trainer John Kavanagh, the focus has narrowed due to boxing’s specialized nature. That said, there is also quite a bit more live contact involved for a boxing camp than there would be for an MMA camp.

“Without going into too much detail, we’re doing four times the amount of sparring for this camp than we would do fro a regular MMA camp. That’s a huge amount of extra rounds. What ever other parts you get ready for a fight, whether it’s boxing or MMA, without doubt the most important part of that is sparring. That’s the sport,” Kavanagh told TheMacLife.

Thus far, Kavanagh is pleased with the progress made by the UFC lightweight champion, who doesn’t have a single professional boxing match on his resume.

“So you can be doing movement drills and weight-lifting and running and all this different things that go with it, but No. 1 should be sparring as long as it’s sensible. To be able to do four times the amount of sparring, the progress we’re seeing – because after each sparring session we do video analysis – and the progress we’re seeing from one session to the next, like everything Conor does. When Conor gets his mind to something, he’s scarily focused and to see him apply that. I really feel we’ve come leaps and bounds in a short time, and we’re only halfway through this camp,” Kavanagh said. “We’ve got another cycle to go through when we get to Vegas, and I look forward to seeing another leap forward.”

Despite McGregor’s lack of experience in boxing, Kavanagh believes that sheer repetition in training will make “The Notorious” one feel more comfortable in the ring come fight night.

“We’ll have done basically about 44 fight nights before fight night,” Kavanagh said. “So the 45th time we walk out it will seem very normal to us. It won’t be anything catching us off guard. Doing a camp with Conor now at this stage, largely because of not having financial restraints, is a joy.”

As Kavanagh mentions, McGregor has done very well for himself in the UFC, which makes training much different than it would for a fighter without the same type of resources. Of course, McGregor stands to surpass all of his previous earnings for his fight with Mayweather.

“For a lot of guys trying to do training camps, it’s going around a job. The budget of food, travel and things like that, it’s just nothing here. It’s kind of like a playground,” Kavanagh said. “I get to pick and choose whoever I want. It’s fantastic, a lot of weight off the shoulders. When you’re able to wave a magic wand and get stuff done it makes life a lot easier….The whole camp has been a great experience. If you want to start from the Nate [Diaz] loss, we’ve made massive changes each training camp. Every one is more and more detailed and everyone’s getting more and more tailored to Conor’s specific needs, and it’s working great.”

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