Most expected Floyd Mayweather to win Saturday night’s superfight with Conor McGregor, but the bout itself was surprisingly competitive.
In fact, McGregor was on top through the first three rounds of the fight. The Notorious clearly was the aggressor in the opening stages, landing punches on Mayweather and showcasing great pace in the ring. But while McGregor started off strong, Mayweather’s class and experience began to show off in the middle and latter stages of the match.
Mayweather never lost his composure, and the legendary boxer really began to turn on the offense in the ninth round. With McGregor noticeably dazed and fatigued in the 10th, Mayweather finished off the UFC superstar via TKO to extend his career boxing to record to 50-0.
Mayweather’s perfect record is remarkable, but this fight never seemed to be a legacy booster for Floyd. He took on another fighter from a completely different sport, albeit one of the most popular and successful fighters in the industry’s history. If we’re calling a spade a spade, Mayweather viewed this fight as a cash cow, and Money probably will be satisfied with his handsome payout, which reportedly will be north of $200 million.
He went up against a newcomer to the sport of boxing, and he did what he was supposed to do.
McGregor will earn a hefty paycheck from the bout as well, one that will far exceed any one he’s received from a UFC fight. The Notorious surely agreed to this fight with monetary aspirations in mind, but his showing in the ring substantially boosted his legacy and reputation as a fighter and a competitor.
Most expected the superfight to be a “classic” Mayweather bout, one where Floyd dances around the ring for round after round, employs cautious defense and ends up winning the match via decision. But much to everyone’s surprise, there was a helping of offense, and McGregor more than held his own.
The difficulty of transitioning from MMA to boxing cannot be understated. And even despite months and months of training, McGregor’s UFC roots still were tough to shake in the megafight, as seen by a series of subconscious hammerfists by the Irishman. But outside of the few infractions, McGregor displayed impressive technique and looked as though he wasn’t a rookie in the ring.
Just think about the fight conceptually: An athlete from one sport took on arguably the greatest athlete from a completely different sport. McGregor easily could have been embarrassed, as many of Mayweather’s opponents have looked in the past. Instead, The Notorious hung tough, and took Mayweather deeper than many boxers have.
In the end, Mayweather will be viewed the same way as before the fight began. But even in defeat, McGregor did himself proud — he deserved to be in that ring Saturday night.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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