Most people watching the recent clips of Conor McGregor’s sparring session with Paulie Malignaggi have been focused on whether there was a knockdown or not, but Floyd Mayweather is more focused on what he believes were illegal shots.

“My thoughts is I think it was real interesting but a lot of illegal rabbit punching behind the head, a lot of stuff that was illegal,” Mayweather said during a media conference call earlier this week. “A lot of grappling, a lot of wrestling, a lot of illegal shots. That’s just my opinion.”

The 40-year-old boxing superstar went on to make it clear he expects the announced referee for the bout, Robert Byrd, to be on top of any attempts by McGregor to break the rules on August 26th.

I’m pretty sure the referee’s going to be fair on both sides. I want the referee to be fair and treat both competitors, myself and Conor McGregor, treat us both, be even and treat us fair. I just want to have a good solid fight.”

The fact that McGregor has been using veteran referee Joe Cortez to oversee his sparring sessions has been seen as a sign that the UFC lightweight champion intends to play by the rules, and his camp have been keen to confirm that, but it seems as if Mayweather still has some concerns.

“Even though he had Joe Cortez in his training camp, I still seen him being extremely dirty,” Mayweather noted.

Byrd is not generally known to be a referee who prefers to be more verbal than physical, and potentially that could give McGregor a slight advantage, but Mayweather thinks the experienced official will keep the Irishman in check.

“I truly believe the ref’s going to do his job. The referee’s job is to make sure he’s keeping the bout clean. I want to have a good fight. Like I said on numerous occasions building up to this fight, I’m coming straight ahead so he don’t have nothing to worry about. I look forward to following the Queensberry rules of boxing and I’m pretty sure he looks forward to following the Queensberry rules of boxing.”

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.

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