Mayweather Beats McGregor
By JOHN ELIGON and VICTOR MATHERUPDATED
Floyd Mayweather Jr. landing a punch against Conor McGregor. Credit Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Conor McGregor is a showman, a tough customer and a brilliant mixed martial artist. On Saturday night in Las Vegas he showed he could box too. But not nearly well enough to beat Floyd Mayweather, one of the all-time greats of the game.
Mayweather, out of retirement at age 40, won the fight on a 10th round TKO to take his record to 50-0. McGregor, a 4-1 underdog with bookies, but 100-1 with many boxing experts, proved he wasn’t hopelessly overmatched in a sport he had never before competed in professionally.
Mayweather’s strategy seemed to be to frustrate McGregor for long enough to exhaust him, then finish the job. It worked. “Our game plan was to take our time, then take him out at the end, down the stretch,” Mayweather said after the fight.
McGregor looked sharp in the first rounds, landing some blows, although also missing many because of Mayweather’s vaunted defense. As the rounds went by, though, he began to get sluggish, leaving openings for Mayweather to hit him again and again.
By round 10, he seemed almost out on his feet, and when Mayweather landed a series of blows with McGregor on the ropes, referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight. McGregor lost the fight, but he never went down.
“They should have let me keep going,” he said afterward. “Let the man put me down.”
McGregor outlanded Mayweather, 51-40, in the first five rounds. But Mayweather dominated the rest of the fight, 130-60.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrating his victory over Conor McGregor. Credit Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
The judges’ scorecards were not needed, but two of them gave McGregor only the first round, while the third gave him rounds one to three.
The colossally hyped fight may well have been the biggest pay-per-view bout in history. Alex Rodriguez, LeBron James and Jennifer Lopez were among those in the well-heeled crowd.
Mayweather was magnanimous in victory: “He’s a tough competitor. I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see. He’s a lot better than I thought he was. But I was the better man tonight.”
McGregor said: “He’s not that fast, he’s not that powerful, but boy is he composed.”
Both men made a fortune fighting in one of the most talked about fights in years. McGregor plans to return to mixed martial arts. As for Mayweather: “This is my last fight tonight, ladies and gentlemen.”
But he has said that before.