In case you were doing something more important than watching one of the most anticipated and obscure boxing matches ever, Floyd Mayweather defended his undefeated title against Conor McGregor with a TKO in an intense, 10 round boxing match, securing a legendary 50-0 record.
Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers of all time, period. Let’s also give him credit for being 40, retired and beating 49 professional boxers before fighting Conor McGregor, a 29-year-old, ruthless, loud-mouth UFC fighter.
Conor McGregor also deserves a lot more recognition than flak for surviving 10 rounds against one of the best boxers of all time. Now, Mayweather is not a particularly aggressive boxer. Instead, he is calm, collected and focuses more on tiring out his opponents as opposed to being overly aggressive. Mayweather didn’t want the fight to end early either and admitted to not punching when he could have countered simply to keep the fight going and give McGregor a fighting chance. What a nice guy!
Because of Mayweather’s fighting style, the first 4 rounds were in McGregor’s favor. He was landing a lot of great punches and cornered Mayweather a few times. These rounds were almost promising, and even for fans like myself that were fully aware Mayweather would win the fight, there was a glimmer of hope that the underdog would win the first half of the fight.
During the fight, McGregor began to make a lot of mistakes, breaching core boxing rules by answering with his MMA instincts. By the third round, he received a warning for illegally punching Mayweather on the top of his head. He would also grab Mayweather illegally from behind out of habit. Below is a recreation for those who missed out on McGregor’s unorthodox clinching.
By round 5, Mayweather was starting to take more control. He was pushing McGregor back and managed to land a number of hits on McGregor whose fatigue began to be more and more prevalent.
It’s important to note that many of Conor’s matches end very quickly, with Conor constantly fighting for an early round knockout. Below is McGregor knocking out José Aldo during UFC 194 in a fight so short, it fits inside a GIF!
With that being said, Conor’s strategy was not much different against the boxing legend. His aggression, energy, and conviction were predominant in the first several rounds but his brute-force tactic did not work against the finesse displayed by Mayweather’s focused defense and lightning-fast reflexes.
It is also important to state the obvious that CONOR MCGREGOR IS NOT A BOXER. He is a mixed martial-arts (MMA) fighter, and while to the layman it may seem like the same thing, the two sports are widely different. This was seen with McGregor’s MMA muscle memory, pulling off illegal moves that are restricted in the boxing world while are rampant and perfectly acceptable in the UFC.
As a boxer, McGregor is restricted to upper body movements while only being able to use his legs for stance and to move around. In MMA, anything goes, except for gouging, biting and any other dirty pool tactics. On top of facing a career boxer with no losses whatsoever, limiting his fighting style and being in control of it was certainly a challenge for someone who has only trained to box professionally in the past few months leading up to the fight.
The 9th round started with Mayweather against the ropes and it almost looked like McGregor was making a comeback, only to be countered with a hard right. At this point, his legs began to wobble and his fatigue was very evident, however, he managed to hold out for the duration of the round to continue into the 10th.
The 10th round did not last long, Mayweather began looking for a showman finish and after a devastating combo of hooks and jabs, the referee called the fight as a technical knockout (TKO) and gave the win to the still undefeated, Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
McGregor was instantly devastated and began arguing with the ref, “I thought it was close,” he said. “I get a little wobbly when I’m tired, it is fatigue, the referee could have let it keep going, let the man put me down. I am clear headed.”
Mayweather, on the other hand, shedded some light on his coming out of retirement, only to confirm that this will be his final fight as he “picked up the perfect dance partner for the last dance.” Even after being asked about what dollar figure would make him come back, he still stood by his decision to retire for good and never fight another professional match again, no matter how much he gets paid.
The two put on quite a show on Saturday night. With all the hype, conferences and trash-talk, people were really excited to see these two hash out their differences in a billion-dollar super-fight. Speaking of which, are there really any losers here? McGregor took home an estimated $80 million while Floyd boasted a massive cheque, the only detail of which he revealed was that it was 9 figures.