UFC star McGregor asking for first-hand advice from Cortez to ensure he doesn’t fight illegally in Mayweather clash
CONOR McGREGOR has called in top ref Joe Cortez to teach him the rules of boxing before his mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather.
UFC star McGregor is undergoing a crash-course from one of the world’s most respected officials to ensure he fights within the laws in Las Vegas next month.
The Irishman has never fought a single boxing fight at professional level – and there are fears he will continually break the rules when he takes on Mayweather in Las Vegas.
So McGregor has drafted in Cortez to his training camp in the American city in order to learn what he is, and what he isn’t, allowed to do in the ring.
The Puerto Rican took charge of some of the most high-profile world title fights in the last 20 years was renowned for his no-nonsense approach.
And McGregor wants him to pull no punches during their sessions in order to ensure he stays within the Queensbury Rules when he takes on Mayweather on August 26.
Cortez said: “I’m working with McGregor as a unified boxing advisor.
“My job is to teach him not to commit any mistakes during his fight against Mayweather Jr.
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“They were looking for a referee with a broad knowledge of the rules and that’s where my name came from.
“I honestly do not know how, but for me it’s an honour.
“I know they had several names on the table, but they finally selected me and above everyone to be involved in some way for this event that possibly is one of the biggest of the year.”
Cortez added: “For Puerto Rico and for me this opportunity is worth a lot. This will be a fight between a boxer and a mixed martial arts specialist.
“As I said, my role will be to prepare McGregor so that he does not commit any breach of the rules on the day of the fight.
“It’s an opportunity to recreate fights and their rules. He is a fighter who is learning very fast and has previous experience in fights and is moving quite well.
“The only thing I can say is that it will be an interesting fight.”
Cortez is well known to British fight fans have been the man in the middle when Joe Calzaghe beat Bernard Hopkins in 2008.
He also took charge of Amir Khan’s thrilling victory over Marcos Maidana, which saw him dock a point from the Argentinian for the use of an elbow.
But he was criticised by some for the way he handled Ricky Hatton’s world title clash with Mayweather in 2007 which the American won by knockout.
Some believed Cortez was too protective of Mayweather by stopping Hatton going to work too quickly on the inside.