The circus has left town and two of the starring acts will pocket over $500 million between them. The boxing world can breathe a sigh of relief as Floyd Mayweather Jr forced the ref to stop the fight in the tenth round and did what many expected would be done within six.
“Floyd rolled back the clock and showed us glimpses of his Pretty Boy era”
Conor McGregor on the other hand, seemed to shock many boxing enthusiasts by keeping his composure in the early rounds and even winning the first three on many pundits’ scorecards. Personally, most of this fight played out as we expected with Irish fans having something to shout about early on whilst Mayweather took a look at his opposition. There’s no one better at adjusting to what’s in front of them. He seemed to let McGregor exert plenty of energy in the early rounds as he lured the MMA fighter to put power into his shots and made him work at a high pace. A statistic many UFC fans are putting emphasis on is the 110 punches landed, a stat that beats what Manny Pacquiao landed on Floyd in 12 rounds.
The Raw Truth
There were some contrasting opinions coming into this fight as two codes of fighting met last night but when it’s all said and done, there was a huge skill discrepancy in the ring. People said, “what if Conor lands his power?” but in the midst of the fight he conceded ground and didn’t look the power puncher in there. McGregor is great at what he does and is without a doubt one of the most talented fighters on the planet, the only problem is, he was in there with the best boxer of this generation. Maybe he should thank his lucky stars that he was? That’s because, although Mayweather is a sporting great, he is known for pure skill and not KO power. He intelligently reads his opponent and slowly breaks them down, both mentally and physically, he demonstrated this in Las Vegas as he took McGregor into the tenth and played with him. Had “Notorious” been in there with a fighter closer to his size, with knockout power, then this could quite easily have been a dangerous match-up, one that the commission would surely have been criticised for allowing.
Getting down to the raw truth, despite McGregor’s efforts, courage and willingness to battle a boxing legend, he was really outclassed and he stayed in the fight for as long as Mayweather wanted him to. He looked sharp in the first two rounds and shocked many boxing fans ringside, as he looked loose and comfortable. But if you watch it back, you will see the genius from the master of this skillset. Floyd rolled back the clock and showed us glimpses of his Pretty Boy era, walking Conor down and making him work throughout every second of every round. We never see “Money” work in this way, since his hands started breaking in his career, he adopted a real boxing purist style with flawless defence. However, he continued to walk forward and it was clear to see the inexperienced UFC star was well out of his depth.
In rounds one and two, McGregor had spells of unloading on Mayweather, Floyd backed up and evaded many of the power punches. But for the most part even when the American didn’t throw, he still made Conor work tirelessly. Many probably missed this, because he did not unleash and this meant that many people would have been busy scoring the round but Floyd was investing into his game plan, which was to take his man out in the latter rounds.
Mayweather continued to get his front foot on the outside of McGregor’s keeping the mixed martial artist’s backhand at bay. He managed to make his man miss while simultaneously staying in the pocket. After round four the mouth of McGregor began to open, his chin waved high and he started to look out of place, he was wilting earlier than expected. Mayweather went to the body and it was all work that he’d cash in on towards the end of the fight.
McGregor continuously spun Mayweather around and tried to illegally punch to the back of the head, “Money” craftily used this to his advantage, turning his back and making it obvious. One thing that MMA fans overlooked, is Mayweather’s grappling. Yes, his grappling! By no stretch of the imagination would he be able to roll around an octagon with Conor but when it comes to the ring he has a way of making his inside fighting count. He bends the rules ever so slightly without getting penalised, you will see him use his forearm, drag his opponents head back, dip his head low and grab hold of his foe. As soon as he started to get his own way in the tying up of the fight, you knew this was going to be an easy victory.
In the ninth round Mayweather started landing at will as McGregor started to fall around the ring. He blamed fatigue and said he could have carried on but as they entered the tenth an unanswered onslaught meant the fight was stopped and rightfully so. He looked as though he had bitten off more than he could chew and there was nothing to gain from allowing this fight to continue. It was right hands that put a stop to the contest and they were complimented with some left hooks from the night’s come-forward fighter.
Conor McGregor deserves utmost respect as he stepped into unchartered waters and seriously believed he could win. He’s a great stand-up fighter, but the distance, grappling and scoring is completely different. This fight did a lot to show the contrast between the two sports, but there is no reason that people can’t like both respectively. It’s easy to get carried away with his performance as he will no doubt take pride by taking Mayweather to the tenth round but the truth is Mayweather completely dominated the fight and the official score cards were eight rounds to one, going into the tenth. The free-fighting athlete landed a total of 110 punches, 29 more than Manny Pacquiao in two rounds less. Something to be proud of, but another thing that should be put into perspective. Mayweather walked through his punches, guard up and rarely took a back-step, something he wouldn’t and couldn’t do against another great boxer.
Mayweather surpasses great Rocky Marciano’s record and is now 50-0 and hopefully the Malignaggi saga is put to rest and Mcgregor goes back to play on his side of the fence.