At the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather won the battle of noise and media frenzy as he adapted to a surprisingly competitive Conor McGregor before turning the screws and bagging a 10th round stoppage. Mayweather, who fought a more aggressive fight than we are used to seeing – especially after conceding the first few rounds on BB’s scorecard – began drawing the curtain in the 8th as McGregor started to heavily wilt.
By the 10th, an exhausted McGregor could no longer ward off Mayweather’s advance, which comprised of countless straight power shots, and was pelted across the ring until the referee halted the Junior Middleweight affair. So was this a great night for boxing fans and a terrible one for UFC/MMA followers? Personally, from the boxing side, I feel somewhat indifferent to the whole thing – which is actually a whole lot better than the complete condemnation I was originally expecting.
McGregor fought a smart, even economical fight, for as long as he was able, and the man deserves a lot of credit for that. McGregor looked the physically stronger, imposing fighter through the first five sessions, and landed his fair share of leather along the way, with a counter uppercut in the opener proving there was a lot more under the hood than many had expected. Including this scribe. Despite the knockout defeat, an 87-84 share on the scorecards isn’t too shabby against a guy like Mayweather in a debut pro outing. So, you know, the guy made a notable dent at least.
With the ‘spectacle’ over, Mayweather praised McGregor’s bold showing before announcing his retirement from the ring, while McGregor boasted turning his conqueror into a Mexican warrior tonight. So that’s it, folks. The Mayweather vs McGregor klaxon rings no more. Boxing newcomer Conor McGregor stands at 0-1, 0 KO (or 21-4, 18 KO) in a UFC/Boxing splice should you prefer), as Floyd Mayweather, 50 wins, 0 defeats, 27 knockouts, bows out from the sport for good. Allegedly. Oh, and that sacred WBC ‘Money’ belt thing – dare I forget! – now sits on the Mayweather mantlepiece.
Mayweather vs McGregor: Undercard
- Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KO) took care of business with an 8th round knockout, but concentration levels were a cause for concern as the defending IBF Junior Lightweight titlist allowed Francisco Fonseca (19-1-1, 13 KO) into the fight. Davis was sharp and vicious, but seemed a little too eager to over-milk his time on a high exposure card, showboating exclusively during the 3rd stanza. Fonseca disputed the clipping right to the back of the head, but the two body shots prior to meeting the canvas were totally legit.
- Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KO) showcased too much physical presence and power for Nathan Cleverly (30-4, 16 KO) en route to a 5th round stoppage. Jack notched his Light Heavyweight debut tonight, along with Cleverly’s regular variety of the WBA title.
- Startup Andrew Tabiti (15-0, 12 KO) decisively conquered veteran contender Steve Cunningham (29-9-1, 13 KO) over ten rounds, with ringside numbers of 97-93 (twice) and 100-90 deciding the Cruiserweight meeting.
- Yorgenis Ugas (20-3, 9 KO) defeated former title challenger Thomas Dulorme (24-3, 16 KO) over 10 rounds of Welterweight action, with narrow scores of 94-91 and 93-92 (twice) showcasing the ambitious effort of both fighters. Dulorme tasted canvas in the 2nd, but returned the favor in the 7th.
- Juan Heraldez (13-0, 8 KO) bested Jose Miguel Borrego (13-1, 12 KO), with a 9th round knockdown punctuating the difference between this pair of Junior Welterweight climbers. Tallies came in at 97-92 (twice) and 96-93, all for Heraldez.
What’s your take on Mayweather vs McGregor and tonight’s supporting cast? Was this a welcome novelty attraction for the sport? Or merely a freak experiment that should’ve never left the lab?