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18th Jul 2017

Sparring knockout rumour dismissed by Conor McGregor’s management team

Even Floyd Mayweather refused to believe it

Darragh Murphy

That one was always hard to believe.

How would Jessie Vargas, a boxer with no connections to Conor McGregor’s team, have knowledge of a knockout that occurred behind closed doors in a sparring session?

As a mark of respect to the craft, all fighters tend to keep what happens in sparring to themselves and it just didn’t seem likely that one of the sparring partners that ‘The Notorious’ had drafted in to prepare him for his upcoming Floyd Mayweather challenge would have leaked information.

Last weekend, former WBO welterweight champion Vargas claimed to have intel that McGregor had been knocked unconscious in recent weeks.

Few fight fans believed his claim and even Mayweather announced that he wouldn’t be taking Vargas at his word.

“My take is if I ain’t seen no footage, I don’t believe it,” Mayweather told ABS CBN News.

“We’re working on Vargas to sign with Mayweather Promotions, so we’ve been communicating.

“But everything is just rumour until I see it. I have to see it with my own eyes.”

JOE reached out to one of McGregor’s sparring partners for comment but we have yet to hear back while the Telegraph have an exclusive with a member of the Irishman’s management team, who has rubbished Vargas’ claims.

“The guy mentioned by Jessie Vargas is Brandon Rios, not Brad Wheeler. Neither have sparred with Conor,” a spokesman told the newspaper.

Rios, meanwhile, has also moved to pay short shrift to the talk of him being the fighter who knocked out the Dubliner.

“The world’s gone crazy,” he told ES News.

“My phone’s been blowing up. I’ve been getting texts messages and calls about this. I’ve never met McGregor, and I don’t know who he is.”

Don’t believe everything you read, folks.