Conor McGregor will not be taking pound for pound rated boxer Vasyl Lomachenko up on his recent offer to join ‘The Notorious’ one’s Las Vegas-based training camp as a sparring partner.
After McGregor’s most notable sparring partner, former two-weight titlist Paulie Malignaggi, left the camp in a huff last week, Lomachenko reached out to the UFC lightweight champion via Twitter and offered his services. Despite, having only ten pro fights to his name, Lomachenko is already being raved about in boxing circles and rightfully so. The two-time Olympic champion has mesmerizing footwork and hand-speed, he throws blurring and wonderfully varied combinations, and he mixes scintillating offence with slick defence in a way that is very rarely seen. Thus, his offer caused great excitement among McGregor fans.
However, during his media workout in Vegas on Friday, McGregor dismissed the idea of Lomachenko coming in, noting that ‘Hi-Tech’, regardless of his ability, is far from an ideal sparring partner for someone preparing to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“First of all, he’s 120lbs,” said McGregor, before being corrected and informed that Lomachenko currently competes at 130lbs. “Second of all, he’s a southpaw. He’s very skilled, but he’s not applicable for this camp(via FightHype).”
“Third of all, I’m more of a [Guillermo] Rigondeaux man, myself,” McGregor said later, referring to another two-time Olympic champion with whom Lomachenko’s name has been connected as of late.
“Where was the mention of that fight? That’s the fight you need to make, (Lomachenko) didn’t even seem interested in the last one, I think.”
“The last one” was Lomachenko’s bout with Miguel Marriaga in Los Angeles last Saturday night. Lomachenko controlled the fight every step of the way, making Marriaga consistently hit fresh air, while pummeling him with well picked shots and occasionally showboating en route to a stoppage victory after seven rounds. Many complained afterwards that Marriaga shouldn’t have in there with Lomachenko but the Ukrainian has a habit of making people look completely out of their depth. Marriaga’s record on paper is a decent one. He has 25 wins and his only two losses prior to the Lomachenko fight came against quality operators, Nicholas Walters and Oscar Valdez. He had never been stopped before.
“I think he needs to challenge himself more,” McGregor said of Lomachenko on Friday.
While Marriaga may not have been top-level opposition, Lomachenko isn’t someone you can really criticize for taking easy fights. In his short career thus far he has already taken on Orlando Salido, Gary Russell Jr., Roman Martinez and the aforementioned Nicholas Walters. His ten professional opponents have a combined record of 291-27-13. That’s not standard opposition for a guy with so few bouts.
What’s more, Lomachenko couldn’t really be accused of avoiding McGregor’s boy Rigondeaux. He has said on multiple occasions that he would love the fight and even challenged the Cuban legend to a winner take all bout.
“Be a man. Take your manager and promoter, come to my promoter. My offer to you is, all the money I’m going to get and all the money you’re going to get…put in [one] place, and the winner will take it all,” Lomachenko recently told ES News through a translator(Transcription via Boxing Scene).
Hopefully that fight, which unlike McGregor vs Mayweather is really one for the purists, will eventually come together.