LAS VEGAS, NV (CBS) — In the end, they found out they actually needed each other. Floyd “Money” Mayweather and mixed martial arts star Conor “The Notorious” McGregor made themselves a lot of money Saturday night in their much-anticipated showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The demand for the fight was so great that cable services were shut down in California trying to fill all of the orders. It actually delayed the fight.
When they eventually did get into the ring, it turned out to be more entertaining than many anticipated. Mayweather won on a 10th-round TKO at 1:05. Mayweather went on to go 50-0, with now 27 KOs, while McGregor acquitted himself very well, winning the first three rounds according to many respected ringside observers, and arguably four of the first nine rounds.
But the harsh fact, however, is that if either of those fighters were in the ring against the likes of an Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford, Mikey Garcia or Shawn Porter, they would have both been in serious trouble.
Mayweather, who turned 40 in February, suddenly looked 40. Having admitted he didn’t spar in a month prior to the fight may explain why he arguably gave the first three rounds away without throwing a punch. Mayweather has a history of brittle hands and he wanted to preserve his hands for a fighter who posed no serious threat to him.
As for McGregor, who was making his pro boxing debut, he showed some ability, throwing punches at different, awkward angles that Money needed a few rounds to decipher. What did him in was his endurance
For as vulgar and crass they were to each other prior to the fight, they were 180-degrees the opposite afterward, making sure each one was served their proper due.
“It was a good fight, I thought I won the early rounds, but Floyd is a very composed individual, and he didn’t get rattled,” McGregor said. “He switched his game plan three times. He came out looking to box, and I thought he was being outboxed. He leaned against the ropes and was getting picked off there.
“But he came inside and put his forehead on my chest, which I didn’t anticipate. I didn’t anticipate those three game changes. That’s what a true champion does. He came with it. Much respect. It was a hell of a fight. I would have liked to have seen the end of the 10th. I have a little patch where I get fatigued. It was a good fight. It was a bit of fun.”
McGregor discovered something during the course of the fight. He was exerting tremendous energy, often times when he wound up on Mayweather’s back.
“When we reset, that flustering me a little bit, and he keeps himself very composed and he hides himself well,” McGregor said. “I hope you all enjoyed it.”
Mayweather landed 170 of 320 total punches (53%) to McGregor’s 111-430 (26%). The real difference came in the power shots, where Mayweather landed 154 of 261 (58%), while McGregor connected on 84 of 332 (25%). Judges Burt A. Clements and Guido Cavalleri gave McGregor the first round—and that was it. Dave Moretti gave McGregor the first three rounds, which was more realistic, and the rest to Mayweather.
Mayweather admitted he’s not the same he was two years ago, when he last fought. He said that this would it, he would retire—and stay retired. He’s accomplished everything he set out to do and probably way more in hall of fame career.
“Conor is solid, but I felt I could come straight ahead against him,” Mayweather said. “He didn’t have the type of power where I couldn’t have come forward. There were a lot of rabbit punches, but I’m not here to bash anyone. I wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see. I wanted to go out with a bang—and I did.”