I heard so much noise leading into this fight. I heard folks say it was a money grabbing sham. I heard people say Floyd would knock McGregor out in three rounds. I heard this was not going to be worth $100 because McGregor has no skill and stands no chance. All of those folks were wrong. (Wrong is being nice about it.) The fight was real and it was entertaining. (Just as I said it would be.) So what exactly happened? How was a “sham” able to become one of Mayweather’s better fights in recent memory?
I’m on the record as saying this fight would not end early, McGregor would last more than 5 rounds, and Floyd was going to be forced to engage. (Home Court Sports has all the proof you need.) Guess who was on the money (see what I did there?!) with this analysis? Your main man’s love of the sweet science rings true again. McGregor was gassed by round six (his legs were done and his breathing was heavy.) before that, he had many people believing. He did what I said he would; Use reach longer reach to jab Floyd and use his knowledge of angles to open up power punch opportunities. Conor hit some wicked shots on Floyd, but Floyd being the champion he is, was able to eat them and press forward. Once Conor saw he wasn’t going to be able to drop Floyd, it became a fight for survival. Surviving ten rounds with one of the greatest in the sport in your first professional boxing match is nothing to hang your head about. (Don’t worry, Conor certainly did not.)
At the end of the match, McGregor famously told Mayweather; “I turned you into a Mexican!” So many gasped about this. Those of us versed in the sweet science know this is a high compliment. It is a well know fact, fighters of Mexican heritage more times than not are far more aggressive and willing to engage in boxing matches. Floyd had to be aggressive in this bout and he was. Mayweather takes about three rounds to study and get a feel for his opponent. Then he goes to work defensively and countering. McGregor wasn’t like any opponent he’d ever faced. He had to weather the early storm and then become aggressive. Floyd was unrelenting from the fourth round until his TKO of McGregor in the tenth round. It was another master class from Mayweather that didn’t come without some early doubt.
All of the showmanship, the trash talk, the hype for this fight was paid off by the fight itself. McGregor brought out the best in Mayweather. He legitimately tested him in a way that not even Manny Pacquiao had. McGregor also won in defeat. His star has risen tenfold after his showing against one of the greats. (As if he needed it.) Mayweather survived (what he claims to be) his final fight and went to an amazing 50-0 in his career. He also left fight fans with a wonderful lasting experience. It wasn’t all about defense and countering, Floyd showed he could be aggressive and force the issue. This was a treat for everyone involved. (A rich treat for the combatants.) Low expectations by many (not me!) were squashed after the dust settled. Conor and Floyd proved so many wrong. The fight wasn’t a sham, the fight was real.