A top UFC fighter sparring boxing, with top a ranked boxer. As told by Cub Swanson.

A top UFC fighter sparring boxing, with top a ranked boxer. As told by Cub Swanson.

Those in the know are aware that top 5 welterweight boxer Timothy Bradley went to high School with top UFC featherweight, Cub Swanson. With Conor coming to Las Vegas yesterday, rumors again began swirling about Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather boxing. Despite any educated fight fan knowing exactly how a boxing match between a mixed martial artist and a boxer turns out, it still is intriguing to so many people.

Personally, I know the difference between MMA and boxing. I’m very well aware that the two sports have their own separate identities. Why is this particular match-up SO intoxicating to people? Is it because people want to rub it in the faces of ‘experts’ when their pick gets obliterated? Do they think it ends the debate of who the baddest man on the planet is? Honestly, I don’t get it. I just assume everyone knows how the fight will go and simply move on.

However, they do not move on and that got me thinking… What if I get an honest assessment from a top MMA fighter, who has sparred with a top boxer? I remembered that Swanson and Bradley have trained together and reached out to Cub.

On my radio show yesterday, I got Cub’s perspective on what sparring with pro boxer Timothy Bradley is like.

“All I know is, boxing-wise, every sparring partner I’ve had that is a pro boxer; Hits harder than any MMA fighter. It’s just different. When I fought Jeremy Stephens, he hit me with a couple flush straight rights to my mouth and I was fine (with 6oz gloves). It didn’t even daze me. A boxer that I was sparring with for that fight was hitting me with one-two’s that I blocked and I was getting hurt worse by the boxer wearing 16oz gloves and headgear.”

Then I asked him the Timothy Bradley question.

*Laughing* “I’ve done a lot better over the years, but in the very beginning I couldn’t even… I just stared at him. I was trying to counter him and he’d just hit me with a jab and I’d be like,

‘F**k I didn’t even see that coming. Okay this time, I’m going to be ready and when it comes, I’m going to throw right over the top of it. Then, BOOM! Damnit! I didn’t see it again!’

Eventually I did get better, but he does hit hard. People think he doesn’t. You know how it is… Some people just fight differently than they train. Bradley hits hard and he hits fast.”

I pushed a little, in regards to what he meant by ‘getting better’.

“The last couple times we trained together, he called me when he was in the pre-camp period; About 8 weeks out. He was just trying to get sharp, so he had me come in as his pre-sparring to his sparring.”

See, I love this. Cub is one of the most unique and dynamic strikers in all of MMA and he puts his ego aside. This is a guy who is coming off of a striking clinic in his last MMA fight. He openly says that hanging with these top boxers in a ring, is no cake-walk.

Of course, MMA is a different story.

“That’s what we do. We’re the ones coming here and trying to learn what boxers do and make the best of it. Every time I invite them to spar kickboxing, boxers always say no. The only thing any of them are ever worried about, is getting kicked in the leg.”

If Floyd and Conor happens in a boxing ring, I see Conor getting embarrassed. Legitimately, embarrassed. You know what cures getting embarrassed though? Making $50 million.