Two fighters fought one another inside a boxing ring at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. One was an MMA fighter, the other a boxer. In the end, boxer Floyd Mayweather (50-0) defeated MMA fighter Conor McGregor (0-1) in a fight that exceeded expectations. Mayeather won via KO for the first time since 2011 at 1:05 of the 10th round. Judges scored the fight 89-81, 89-82 and 87-83.
It was a night that many did not see coming.
When Conor McGregor v. Floyd Mayweather was announced a few months back, many saw this as a sideshow. Nobody gave McGregor a chance and many doubted if Mayweather, already retired for two years, could even bring it. I even questioned whether Floyd was underestimating Conor. When the fight started right about at midnight, the doubters were dead wrong.
Fun fact: The fight had to be delayed due to several outages of the event on UFC-related outlets and cable providers. This was during the entire night. Luckily, several alternatives were used to try and save the day.
Conor came storming out of the gate, mixing his MMA approach with what he learned in his brief time as a boxer. Conor won the first three rounds, and he looked pretty impressive. When the fourth round began, there was a moment to reflect. Would Mystic Mac be right again, and end the fight by the fourth round? Alas, it was not meant to be, but Conor held his own.
It wasn’t until the later rounds (sixth) where Conor looked tired, like his previous fights with Nate Diaz. While Floyd was getting the brunt of the attacks, he took his time and struck at the right moments. The eighth and ninth round seemed like the momentum transferred to Floyd. As is tradition with many of his fights, Floyd calculated Conor’s moves and was able to take out McGregor in the tenth. Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight after a flurry of punches.
The fight was a contrast of styles that ended up working. Conor proved he is a skilled fighter that can hang with the best. He landed 111 punches at Mayweather, which was the second highest amount against Floyd, between Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao. A majority of the punches were in the beginning, and it was Floyd who drew even in the later rounds.
Now, the controversial part of this entire thing was the judges scores. They stated Mayweather won rounds four through nine, which was very interesting. Two believed Floyd was ahead the whole time. Some might say their view was askew, and it sure seemed that way. It’s a debate that will be talked about for years to come. All there is to say is that the judges decision shouldn’t ruin what was a great moment.
McGregor spoke post-match regarding the stoppage. It was definitely a culture difference, considering an MMA referee waits until the exact moment to stop the fight. While it was showing he was getting weaker, McGregor did not want to go out the way he did:
“I thought it was close though and I thought it was a little early of a stoppage. I get like that when I’m tired….Get me into the corner and I’ll recover and I’ll come back. And I’d like it to hit the floor. There’s a lot on the line here, Byrd should have let me keep going I thought, but fair play to Mayweather.”
That was the moment where everyone watching knew what a special talent Conor was. While showing amazing heart, he gave it his all and shocked the world in one way or another.
Seems like Mayweather will go back to retirement and Conor will go back to the UFC. Don’t count out a return to the boxing ring for the latter though.
In the end, it’s a win-win for both sides. Mayweather rides off into the sunset undefeated, besting the legendary Rocky Marciano. For McGregor he gets a huge payday ($30 million, plus more), and the respect of the fans. Although they started as enemies, they ended this magical event (like I’m sure they planned) as (rich) comrades in arms.
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