Floyd Mayweather has beaten Conor McGregor as nearly every fight fan expected he would – but McGregor lost no fans with a gutsy display.
One thing’s for sure, they’ll both be laughing all the way to the bank. Here are five talking points from the fight.
Did it live up to the hype?
Yes, but there were much lower expectations for this fight from genuine boxing fans than there were for Mayweather Pacquiao in 2015. That fight didn’t live up to the hype.
This one was thought by many to be a novelty act, but it was far better than that.
Should Mayweather have won more easily?
Probably yes, but he was justifiably cautious. He literally didn’t know what to expect from McGregor and he was on a hiding to nothing if he lost the fight.
It may have been all part of Mayweather’s strategy to be relatively inactive in the early rounds so he could take McGregor into deep water.
But credit where it’s due. McGregor boxed better than most people thought he would to win the early rounds, using his size, speed and strength to his advantage.
It also needs to be remembered that Mayweather is 40 years old now. He’s always relied on his boxing skill and speed, but tonight he waited for the younger McGregor to tire before he was able to take the fight to him and score his 10th round stoppage. He kept his composure throughout those early rounds.
The win takes Mayweather’s career record to 50-0, going past legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano (49-0).
How good of a boxer is Conor McGregor?
The answer to that is better than most people would have expected. He’s very upright and open at times, but his speed and ring control were good early. He also showed the ability to switch and mix things up. I’m sure he surprised Mayweather.
Leaked footage from McGregor’s training camp appeared to show him dominating and potentially dropping former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi in a sparring exchange leading up to this fight, though Malignaggi claims he was pushed and that he dominated the rest of the spar.
While Malignaggi isn’t anywhere near the level of Mayweather, he’s a more than capable fighter and if McGregor was able to land shots against him after only a short time in the sport, it was an early indicator that he’s no boxing mug. He also proved that again today.
If he had future boxing bouts, he’d certainly have to work on his stamina though. It was in the championship rounds where he started to fade today. He’s used to shorter fights in UFC, his legs simply couldn’t carry him 12 rounds against a fighter of Mayweather’s calibre.
He also was allowed a bit of latitude today by referee Robert Byrd for back of the head shots, whether that would happen if he continues in boxing is debatable. You could argue though that Mayweather contributed to this by continually turning and putting his head down.
Does it prove who is the better fighter?
No, boxing and UFC are vastly different sports. This was largely a money-making exercise, not one to determine the best fighter. McGregor will have enhanced his reputation though and earned the respect of boxing fans.
Mayweather was always going to win a 12-round boxing match unless McGregor was somehow able to land a KO punch.
McGregor would win an MMA bout unless Mayweather could somehow stay on his feet the entire time. But even if Mayweather was able to do that, going on McGregor’s early performance in this boxing bout, its arguable that he would be able to use his size and beat Mayweather standing up in a shorter UFC bout.
Bring on Alvarez Golovkin
Mayweather McGregor proved to be much more than a novelty act, but for true boxing fans, the September 16 mega-fight between Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1) and Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin (37-0) is what they are really hanging out for.
That middleweight world title fight will decide the pound-for-pound world boxing champion.