Reality Cheques: Reflecting on Mayweather’s triumph over McGregor

Aug 30 2017 BY Jamal Sobers

Whether you thought it was the fight or the finesse of the century you have to admit, the Mayweather vs McGregor fight was 10 rounds of entertainment that managed to live up to the hype and expectations its promotion promised.

 

At the end of the 10 rounds, it was, unsurprisingly, Floyd Mayweather who walked away with the TKO victory and an untouched 50-0 professional boxing record. The night was one to remember for fight fans and lovers of anything black and excellent, as Floyd put on a masterful display against a brave and unorthodox striker. It was a tough pill to swallow for those who wanted to see Mystic Mac shock the world by destroying Floyd on his home turf, before riding horseback into the UFC octagon with his head on a spear. Instead, McGregor left the ring with a harsh reality check and a lesson learned; that maybe he doesn’t run boxing after all.

 

 

Floyd Mayweather outclassing Conor McGregor

 

Floyd teased Conor in the first 3 rounds, letting the Irishman punch himself into exhaustion when trying to penetrate his guard. To anyone who could foresee Floyd’s game plan this was just another day at the office for him, but for the hopeful few who thought Conor could somehow pull it off, the first 3 rounds looked exactly how they’d hoped. Conor had started sharper, landing tricky shots at difficult angles including a left uppercut that momentarily stunned Floyd. Everything was going well until the MMA man stepped into the 4th, mouth wide and gasping in fatigue and seemingly out of options, unable to put Floyd out in the dramatic fashion he’d hoped. 

 

 

McGregor stuns Mayweather with a clean uppercut

 

Mayweather admitted in his post fight press conference that he hadn’t sparred in his training camp to protect his “brittle hands” from any injuries coming up to the fight. This made sense in hindsight, Floyd didn’t look as sharp as you would’ve expected. Conor, on the other hand, did manage to shock us, landing some sweet shots and clearly being the aggressor of the opening rounds. But it was to no avail, Floyd had used the opening rounds to assess Conor’s threat. Floyd then got into gear, landing shots on his own and the gutsy McGregor started to fade. McGregor’s breaths got heavy and his defence dropped, exactly how Floyd’s camp would’ve guessed, and it was easy to work thereafter.

 

Rounds 4-10 showed the boxing legend in complete control, arguably dictating every step of the fight with patience and precision. His strings of strikes were only broken at times when McGregor momentarily forgot he was in a boxing ring, trying to mount Floyd from the side position and throwing wild hammer fists. It was a brave attempt from the Irishman but he had no answer to the veteran’s pace when it kicked in. Floyd was playing with his food and could’ve taken McGregor out at any point he chose from the 7th round onwards, Conor was beaten and out of options.

 

 

An exhausted McGregor clings onto Mayweather

 

The saving grace for McGregor was that he managed to last a lot longer than a load of fans, myself included, would’ve thought. He also had the referee, Robert Byrd to thank for stopping the fight when he did. Floyd was teeing off on the defenceless McGregor, who was a few strikes away from hitting the canvas when Byrd stepped into to stop the technical onslaught.

 

If McGregor had shown a bit more respect to Floyd and the world of boxing in the lead up, audiences wouldn’t have felt such joy at watching Floyd take him apart, but controversy sells in the age of entertainment and Conor felt every single last consequence of his ballsy words at the end of Floyd’s gloves. Conor later said he would’ve preferred it if the ref didn’t step in and instead leave him to hit the floor, but Byrd did what any competent referee would do in the event of an exhausted fighter with no answer and evidently way out of his depth, thought of the fighters safety first and called a stop to the contest.

 

 

Conor had no answer for the pace of Mayweather

 

It wasn’t all blood and bitterness between two of combat sports’ most ingenious businessmen after the fight. Thanks to the storm of attention surrounding the event both men will walk away around 9 figures richer, with Floyd expected to join Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan in the list of Athletes to have chalked up $1Billion in career earnings.

Meanwhile Conor is on the receiving end of his biggest pay cheque to date, expected to earn more in those 10 rounds than all 5 of the UFC’s top fighters have amassed in their careers combined. At the press conference the two seemed to have squashed their differences, Conor was humbled and Floyd was grateful stating he couldn’t have chosen a better dance partner to end his career with. A pretty romantic way to round off the Capulet vs Montague crossover fight, one that was never supposed to happen, but I suppose it’s all love when you’re making each other sh*t loads of money.

 

 

The two superstars share an embrace in the post fight conference

 

So what next? For Floyd, we should see him enjoying his life of retirement, shining the light on some of the stars under his Mayweather promotions company. Most notably he’d be hyping the fights of Gervonta Davis and Badou Jack, who both managed impressive wins over Francisco Fonseca and Nathan Cleverly on the night. It’s finally his time to bow out on top, walking away from the sport as perhaps the best to ever do it.

 

For Conor we expect to see him back in the UFC’s lightweight division, only now commanding bigger and better paycheques. He’s since called out Nate Diaz for a trilogy fight. If he can overcome his fiercest rival to date, then he’d probably set his sites on a super fight against the weight watching Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia, or maybe the winner of trash talking’s worst Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee. He would undoubtedly be attempting a massive division clean up. It won’t be an easy task but despite the loss, the world could be Conor’s oyster if he redeems himself with a few victories. Who knows, you might even see him calling out Anthony Joshua in a few years to come.