Talented Omagh boxer called into Conor McGregor's camp for Floyd Mayweather jr showdown
A YOUNG Tyrone boxer is to play a central role in one the biggest sporting stories of the summer after being called into Conor McGregor’s camp ahead of the UFC superstar’s showdown with Floyd Mayweather jr.
Twenty-year-old Tiernan Bradley has been enlisted as one McGregor’s principal sparring partners for the next two weeks as the days tick down to the multi-million pound match-up in Las Vegas on August 26.
Bradley began training with ‘Notorious’ at the Straight Blast Gym in Dublin yesterday, having been recommended by another former McGregor sparring partner from these shores - Conor Wallace.
The Newry light-heavyweight spent last summer in Las Vegas helping McGregor prepare for his rematch with Nate Diaz, and was credited with playing a key part as the Dubliner exacted revenge.
However, entering the world of boxing against a man bidding to take his record 50-0 - a fighter who is regarded as the best of his generation - is a completely different challenge.
And, looking for someone to replicate Mayweather’s slick defensive style, Wallace wasted no time in suggesting southpaw banger McGregor got in touch with Bradley.
The Sacred Heart, Omagh stylist was only too happy to oblige.
He said: “I’m just ecstatic about it, to be honest. It has all happened so quickly because we only got the news last Thursday morning.
“It’s absolutely brilliant to be part of the build-up to such a big money fight, a fight that’s going to smash a lot of records.
“It’s going to be a massive event between one of the best pound for pound boxers ever and one of the best UFC champions.
“I hope I can bring that amateur style to the camp and to Conor’s preparations. Professionals tend to be a bit more flat-footed, whereas I would tend to try and be on my toes a bit more.
“Obviously I’m not saying I’m like Mayweather, but hopefully I can bring some qualities that are similar to Mayweather.”
Bradley, a 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist and 2017 Irish elite semi-finalist, has been a huge fan of the man known as ‘Money’ since first lacing up gloves.
He never imagined that one day he would end up plotting his downfall but, having got down to work yesterday, Bradley insists he is firmly in the ‘Team McGregor’ camp, saying: “Mayweather was my idol for years.
“I’ve based my style on him for the last 10 years, since watching him destroy Gatti, Hatton, Marquez, ‘Canelo’… anybody who says he picked his fights, I don’t really agree with them because what he did with those boxers was spectacular.
“But despite all that, I’ll be going for Conor, 100 per cent. He’s one of our own, and you have to support your own.
“I was never a big lover of UFC before McGregor came along but as soon as he came in, I loved his style – the way he moved in the ring, his philosophy outside the ring, his approach.
“It’s going to be an amazing experience. It’s a big thing for my career, because the reality is that Conor is the biggest sports personality in the world at the moment.
“I’m honoured to be asked and to help out in any way I can.”