McGregor rejects Lomachenko for sparring
By Jim Dower: Conor McGregor says super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko is not what he’s looking for in a sparring partner to get ready for his August 26 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. McGregor points out that Lomachenko weighs in the 120s, and he’s a southpaw. Mayweather is a welterweight in the 150 region, and he fights out of an orthodox stance.
McGregor says he’s more into super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux. He wonders why Lomachenko still hasn’t fought the 36-year-old Cuban. McGregor feels that Lomachenko needs to challenge himself more by facing better opposition in his pro career.
This comes after the 29-year-old Lomachenko volunteered to spar with him. Lomachenko posted on social media a message saying that he would help him with sparring. Lomachenko volunteered to help McGregor after former 2 division world champion Paulie Malignaggi quit working with the UFC star after 2 photos of their sparring session leaked out. Malignaggi said he wasn’t paid for the sparring either. It’s unclear what happened with that issue.
“First of all, he’s 120 pounds,” said McGregor about Lomachenko being too small to be used as a sparring partner. “Second of all, he’s a southpaw. I’m more of a [Guillermo] Rigondeaux man myself. I feel where was the mention of that fight? That’s the fight that he needs to make. He can’t fight these. He didn’t even seem interested in the last one. I do think he needs to challenge himself more. But he’s pretty skilled, but he’s not applicable to this camp,” said McGregor.
Lomachenko is 5’6”, and he’s as tall or as heavy as the 5’8” Mayweather. While it would be good for McGregor to spar with someone as talented as Lomachenko, it wouldn’t help him get ready for a style of someone like Mayweather.
McGregor is right about Lomachenko not challenging himself. He’s taken some decent fights since he turned pro, but he’s definitely dragged his feet when it’s come to facing Rigondeaux and Mikey Garcia. Those 2 guys are real threats to Lomachenko, and he’s been glacially slow in taking those fights. It almost seems like Lomachenko doesn’t want the Rigondeaux fight, because he’s not shown interest in meeting Rigondeaux halfway in the weights.
Rigondeaux fights 2 divisions below super featherweight champion Lomachenko in the super bantamweight division. Rather than down one weigh class to featherweight to make the fight easier to make, Lomachenko is staying in his weight class and Rigondeaux would need to move up in weight 8 lbs. to make the fight happen at 130. That suggests that Lomachenko might not be eager to make the fight with Rigondeaux, because he’s making it very hard on him. In the other direction, Lomachenko has been slow in moving up to lightweight to take on WBC champion Mikey Garcia. He’s been asking for Lomachenko to move up in weight for at least a year, but the Ukrainian still hasn’t done it. It would be a big fight if Lomachenko and Garcia were to face each other. Lomachenko doesn’t seem eager to fight Mikey Garcia.