Last night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Floyd Mayweather defeated Conor McGregor by a 10th round TKO.
Conor McGregor, a UFC powerhouse, and current lightweight champion stepped into the boxing ring with the undefeated, and the best boxer of his generation, Floyd Mayweather.
As both main event fighters walked into the ring, it finally began to set in that this fight is really going to happen. McGregor in boxing gloves, going up against boxing’s best, Mayweather, on the biggest stage in boxing.
In the early rounds, McGregor came out with the expected unorthodox fighting stance and weird attacking angles. It seemed as if he had Mayweather confused early because McGregor was landing his jab at a surprisingly high rate. Throughout the round, Mayweather seemed to be trying to figure out a way to offset McGregor’s early aggression.
McGregor’s early success against arguably the best defensive fighter ever was what had some Mayweather fans concerned.
While watching the early rounds in Celebration Cinema North, McGregor fans made their presence felt, screaming and cheering McGregor on as he continued to put pressure on Mayweather. There were occasional chants of “McGregor’ and very loud applause as the UFC champ put on an impressive display early against the pound-for-pound king Mayweather.
But as rounds continued to go on, McGregor’s offensive front began to dwindle. He stopped pumping his jab, his movement began to slow down, and he began to grab Mayweather more than box him. Mayweather had McGregor right where he wanted him, and in round five, Mayweather began to pick up speed.
The difference between MMA rounds and boxing rounds were starting to set in for McGregor. Last night was his first time going 10 three-minute rounds in boxing and it showed as the fight moved into the later rounds.
Round six was all Mayweather as he was coming forward with effective punches to McGregor’s head. During that round, Mayweather seemed to have finally found his rhythm, while a derailing McGregor held on to survive, due to his massive fatigue.
In rounds seven and eight it was more of the same with Mayweather landing any punch he wanted and McGregor holding on for dear life. The fatigue is one of the huge adjustments McGregor had to make for this fight. In the UFC, he is used to fights ending early and not having to go the distance. Plus McGregor’s punch rate in the earlier stages of the fight played a key role in his conditioning.
Heading into round nine, it was obvious that McGregor was exhausted.
He was completely gassed and everyone in the arena knew that it was a matter of time before Mayweather ended his night. As round nine began, McGregor landed a big body punch, which most thought was a low blow, but it stunned Mayweather. But it didn’t make much of a difference as Mayweather’s accuracy and precision was just too much for McGregor to endure. McGregor was often wobbling and leaning on the ropes, gasping for air.
In round ten, that was all she wrote. Mayweather landed a series of right hands to McGregor’s face and McGregor stopped throwing punches, taking heavy amounts of punishment, wobbling around the ring while taking shot after shot. During Floyd’s offensive assault, the ref had seen enough and stopped the bout.
Mayweather was victorious and delivered what he promised, a knockout.
After the ref stopped the fight, McGregor went over to Mayweather and congratulated him. Mayweather returned the respect by saying to McGregor, “You were better than I thought you were going to be.”
Despite all of the verbal trash talk, the two put on for months before this bout, at the end of the day they appeared to have earned each other’s respect.
Even though McGregor lost his first professional boxing match, he impressed the entire sports world. The punches he landed on Mayweather early in the match, the angles he attacked from, his counter punching, and his unconventional style gave the fans something to talk about.
With this fight now in the history books and both fighters returning to their sector of life, the main question was: Is this Floyd’s last fight?
When asked that question by Jim Gray in a post fight interview, Mayweather said, “This is my last fight, for sure.”
Well, there you have it. Mayweather’s career record is now 50-0 and he officially eclipsed the great Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record for most fights without a loss or draw in boxing history.
As for Conor McGregor, he walks away with the biggest payday of his career and with respect and acceptance from the whole boxing world. McGregor stated in his post fight interview that he will return back to the UFC. But I wouldn’t be surprised that after an impressive performance against possibly the greatest fighter of all time, that McGregor would one day return to the square circle.