McGregor steps up training on Italy holiday with unknown boxing coach

Conor McGregor steps up training on holiday in Italy with unknown boxing coach who moved gym goers to allow UFC star to train and instructed him to stop ‘headhunting’ ahead of fight with Manny Pacquiao

  • Conor McGregor has announced his charity boxing match with Manny Pacquiao 
  • The 32-year-old was on holiday in the Liguria region of Italy looking to train 
  • He was initially denied entry into Round Zero Gym due to Covid-19 regulations
  • But the following day gym owner Luca Riccardi was convinced to train him 

Conor McGregor took advice from an unknown Italian trainer to invest more in body punching ahead of his fight with Manny Pacquiao.

McGregor was on holiday in the Liguria region of Italy, and having announced a charity boxing match with Pacquiao was looking for a place to step up his training.

The Notorious travelled to La Spezia and was initially denied entry at the Round Zero Gym, as coronavirus regulations restricted the amount of boxers allowed inside.

Conor McGregor continued his training at a gym in La Spezia with gym owner Luca Riccardi (L)

Riccardi’s son Leonardo (left) convinced his dad to allow McGregor to train at Round Zero Gym

But speaking to Italian outlet Citta della Spezia, gym owner Luca Riccardi said: ‘I looked at the [registered students] and saw that I have no room for him.

‘I had to send someone home, but those are the people that pay my bills, so I gently said I couldn’t take him in.’

Riccardi’s son Leonardo then convinced his dad to allow the former UFC champion to train the next day, even though it meant moving the others into a separate room to allow the 32-year-old star to train. 

The 32-year-old Irishman is stepping up his training ahead of his fight with Manny Pacquiao

‘He told me that I was crazy,’ he continued.

‘I spoke to my customers and asked them if that was cool for them.

‘Of course everybody agreed, telling me that they would have been proud of hosting him and they moved to a secondary, smaller room.’

The trainer even took on the pads and watched on as McGregor sparred, and even encouraged the Irishman to mix up the variety of his punches.

McGregor training there meant other gym goers had to use another smaller room to train

‘He warmed up and then asked me to train together. I wasn’t embarrassed, I’m a coach so I treated him the same way I would have treated any other student.

‘I noticed that he almost never go for the body, he always looking for the headshot. I even gave him a couple of advice since he’s willing to fight Pacquiao.

‘I have acted professional the whole time, because that’s what I am. The only time I’ve been emotional was when Conor was sparring with my son and he turned to me and told me ‘he’ll be a champion’.’

McGregor announced the charity boxing bout with Pacquiao after he had leaked private messages between himself and UFC president Dana White.

The messages showed the pair discussing possible fights for the Irishman with White accusing him of breaking ‘man code’ by sharing their conversation.

‘I had people blowing me up left and right,’ he said following UFC 253. ‘I mean everybody here knows, I mean even the ladies, this is some man-code stuff but it’s just something you don’t do.

‘It’s just something that you don’t do. It is one of the dirtiest things you can do.’

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