REFEREE Joe Cortez came in to Conor McGregor’s training camp to oversee sparring sessions and help the UFC fighter’s transition to boxing as the Irishman prepares to fight Floyd Mayweather on Saturday.
He revealed to The Mac Life powered by Betsafe what he saw inside McGregor’s training camp.
“Working with Conor was a great experience. Here I am breaking in a MMA fighter, here I got to teach him the rules of boxing, and I was pleasantly surprised to see what a great student he is. Because he plays close attention to everything I tell him, everything in detail that I want him to do correct for the fight Saturday night. And so far every session that we’ve had, it’s been getting better, and better, and better. Every session he gets better. he wants to learn more, he keeps asking me questions. I tell him what exactly has got to be done, and I think everything’s going to be just fine Saturday night,” Cortez said.
“For me it’s a great honour to be chosen as the instructor for this, because this is a mega-fight that has never happened. You got a MMA [fighter] against a boxer. Floyd Mayweather, one of the best in the game today and probably in the history of boxing, he’s one of the best. And here is McGregor who is an outstanding athlete himself. Super champion, super hero in MMA. You’ve never seen that before. So for making history, this is awesome. Sometimes I got to pinch myself because I can’t believe I’m doing this at my stage of my life. Yet, I feel I’m back in the groove again like I was before when I was active as a referee. This is really special.”
As for his verdict on Mayweather’s boxing abilities, Cortez said, “Conor has been showing that he has the confidence in himself, he definitely has the skills, as far as MMA is concerned he has the strength, we know he can punch, we know he can punch he has proved it many many times over, he can knock you out with one punch. The interest of the boxing fans will say well Mayweather should win, but you know what I say, anybody that has a punch has a puncher’s chance, and being that Conor is so athletic and so much younger, I mean he has a lot going for him.”