Former IBO welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden was one of the first professional boxers tapped by Conor McGregor’s camp to become one of their sparring partners. The two fighters worked together in 2016, in preparation for McGregor’s rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August of that same year.
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Van Heerden revealed that he was not paid for his sparring sessions with McGregor. Now that the Irishman’s camp is down one sparring partner due to Paulie Malignaggi’s departure, Van Heerden says he is willing to return if he gets monetary compensation, this time around.
“If he pays me, I’ll go beat him up,” Van Heerden said. “Because you know what, the first time I helped him out of a good heart, my coach was there. I didn’t ask him for any money, (I did it) for free. And then they done me bad.”
“So if they want me back, they better pay me.”
Similar to what Malignaggi has experienced, McGregor later released a video of his sparring session with Van Heerden, in which the latter was not happy about. The South African boxer then released his own version of the video to “wake people up” from believing that Mayweather will “have his hands full against McGregor.”
In the wake of the Malignaggi incident, Van Heerden says McGregor’s camp should at the very least issue an apology.
“(Paulie) got pushed down, and then they made it seem like he got knocked down,” Van Heerden said. “It’s sad that he’s been done this bad, and he clearly said it in his statements on social media. And I think he deserves an apology, at least.”
“Even if there’s bad blood, he went there, only having good things to say about McGregor, going to help him, and then the same thing happened to him, what happened to me,” he continued. “Now I hope the people that were calling me a snake, that they just open their eyes and see that he’s done it twice. Twice now.”
Mayweather vs. McGregor takes place on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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