Mayweather stops McGregor in the 10th round via Technical Knockout (TKO) and retires with an unblemished 50-0 record
It was heavily billed as ‘The Money Fight’. It was also billed as ‘Boxing vs UFC’. These were understandable descriptions leading up to Mayweather vs McGregor; the best of boxing taking on the best of the UFC. Both competitors also earned a shed-load of money from the bout, with Mayweather earning a guaranteed purse of $100 million, expected to rise to circa $300 million once PPV revenue is taken into account. McGregor is also expected to earn a guaranteed $30 million, which should rise to $100 million with PPV money. Despite many people from the boxing world in particular writing the fight off as a mismatch, it proved to be a very exciting match-up.
First of all, both men deserve a lot of credit for putting on a great show. Mayweather, now 40 years of age, showed a lot of slippage from his previous fights even from 2 years ago against Andre Berto and Manny Pacquiao. His reflexes have clearly slowed down and his footwork and accuracy are not as sharp as they once were. However, it must be said that he felt he ‘owed the fans’ for the Pacquiao fight which turned out to be a damp squib in the eyes of many. His tactics for facing McGregor were to push forwards and take the fight to McGregor, contributing to him not relying on his normally savvy defensive work. He did still excellently parry shots off well and threw sharp right hands which were catching McGregor as the fight progressed into the later rounds. Credit has to be given to McGregor for bringing the fight out in Mayweather; he had a very awkward style, was switching between southpaw and orthodox, and also tried to come forward and utilise his size and reach advantage. He managed to have some success in the early rounds of the fight, catching Mayweather with some clean uppercuts and jabs. However, once Mayweather started to figure him out from around the 4th round it started to move into his favour and his ring experience started taking over.
As I predicted before the fight happened, Mayweather managed to score a knockout in this bout. This was through an accumulation of right hands to the body and to the head from the 6th round onwards, specifically the 9th and 10th rounds. McGregor did well in the first 3 rounds of the fight however Mayweather’s ring experience and McGregor’s lack of boxing condition impacted heavily after the early exchanges. It must be said that McGregor, although not quite living up to the pre-fight rhetoric of knocking Mayweather out inside 4 rounds, performed admirably for someone who had not competed professionally in a boxing ring. However, I do feel the disregard for McGregor’s fighting skills beforehand was disrespectful. Although he did not have a professional boxing bout until Mayweather, he was (and still is) a multiple weight world champion in mixed martial arts, therefore he was still able to fight at a relatively high level. Ultimately, ring experience and conditioning for 12 rounds of boxing was what proved to be his downfall in the fight. Nonetheless, Conor can hold his head high having won some rounds against arguably ‘TBE’ (The Best Ever) in the squared circle. Floyd Mayweather can now move onto retirement with a 50-0 record, having generated up to $1 billion in revenue through boxing and putting on another huge sporting event.
What is the lasting impact of Mayweather vs McGregor?
It is difficult to predict exactly what impact this fight will have for both boxing and for the UFC. In boxing terms, it could lead to a trend of UFC fighters moving over to the boxing ring for crossover fights. There is certainly a recognition from Mayweather vs McGregor that if you are a big name in UFC, there is potential to earn a lot of money competing in the boxing ring. That is not to say that UFC fighters don’t get paid well, however boxing has historically paid more for bigger events. It must be said that the great majority of fans who watched the fight appeared to enjoy the show and felt it was an entertaining bout between two warriors. It could also lead to people having a greater appreciation for the sport of boxing. Although the UFC is very difficult because there are different forms of fighting involved, such as taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as boxing, the highest level of boxing requires extremely high levels of cardiovascular endurance and technical ability to compete. On the other hand, it also put the UFC in a very positive light, as McGregor was able to perform well despite his lack of boxing experience. The UFC will most likely attract a wider audience as a result of this, to observe different fighting styles in a professional fight within the Octagon. Having said all of that, Mayweather and McGregor could just be two unique individuals who are simply the best at their chosen sports and happened to pull off a one-off mega event.
As of writing, it has been announced that the fight has broken the PPV records in the US, with as many as 6.5 million buys being reported. This is a phenomenal number, considering Mayweather vs Pacquiao managed to do 4.6 million PPV buys and this was regarded at the time as a mega-event. This highlights that the ‘Boxing vs UFC’ angle was critical for drawing in a huge audience. It also demonstrates McGregor’s star quality; he is a huge draw in combat sports and most likely the biggest name in fighting outside of Floyd Mayweather. McGregor’s Irish fanbase also played a role, with many flying out to Las Vegas and cheering him on. Pinning two big personalities and draws together in one colossal event was a recipe for success from a financial standpoint.
Can Conor McGregor carve out a boxing career?
From watching him against Mayweather, I would say that he is certainly able to compete at a good level. He has a very awkward style which I feel would throw off some fighters initially. Plus, he showed against Mayweather that he can land some solid punches and also demonstrated a willingness to use his size to his advantage. However, judging by the size of him in the ring against Mayweather, most likely coming into the ring around 170 pounds, he was the much bigger man and would certainly not be able to get below the 154 pound weight division in boxing. Furthermore, he also needs to learn to exert his energy correctly in boxing terms. There were a few times in the fight where he hit Mayweather on the back of the head and was warned by referee Robert Byrd for this at it is an illegal punch. As well, he would often attempt to grab Mayweather’s back which also lead to the referee breaking them up and restarting. These are manoeuvres which McGregor will have to phase out if he wants to develop in boxing terms. This would come with boxing experience and has picked up several tricks from his mixed martial arts career.
In terms of his next moves, I would expect him to return to the UFC for his next fight. He can certainly demand a larger guaranteed purse as he will inevitably draw in an even larger audience for his fights now. Nonetheless, if the right opponent in terms of name and ability came up as an option for McGregor to fight in the boxing ring, he would likely jump at the chance to take the fight. It will be interesting to see how his career develops from here. One thing is for certain though; this is the last we will see from Mayweather in the boxing ring.
Written by: Alex Loughran