Floyd Mayweather Admits Conor McGregor’s Boxing Ability ‘Shocked’ Him

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Conor McGregor gave Floyd Mayweather a fight Saturday night, which came as a surprise to many — including Mayweather himself.

McGregor started strong against Mayweather in Saturday’s boxing superfight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The UFC star eventually ran out of steam against the undefeated boxer, allowing Mayweather to pounce in the 10th round and score a TKO victory. But McGregor showed impressive skill in an unfamiliar setting, and even Mayweather admitted he may have underestimated his opponent.

“He’s a hell of a fighter standing up — he kind of shocked me,” Mayweather told reporters after the fight, via MMAJunkie.com. “Our game plan was to take our time, let him shoot all these heavy shots, keep walking him down, keep walking him down, shoot heavy shots to the body, shoot big shots upstairs.

“My dad (Floyd Mayweather Sr., who also is Mayweather’s trainer) thought it was going to go a little bit earlier around the seventh or the sixth, but it took us a little longer than expected. But we did what we said we were going to do.”

Mayweather guaranteed before the fight that he’d defeat “The Notorious” via knockout, a bold claim considering his traditional fighting style. “Money” is an excellent technical boxer who relies on counterpunches and defense to win his bouts and hadn’t scored a KO victory since 2011 entering Saturday’s fight. But Mayweather eventually made good on his promise to end the bout before 12 rounds, even if McGregor lasted longer than he expected.

“I could have easily outboxed Conor McGregor, counterpunched him all night,” Mayweather said. “That’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to go out with a bang. I told you guys I wanted to go straight ahead. I felt like I owed that to the fans for the (Manny) Pacquiao fight, even though I don’t owe anybody anything.

“I put the pressure on myself and did it myself. That was a goal of mine. I told you guys it wouldn’t go the distance.”

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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