OPINION: Conor McGregor Held His Own Against Floyd Mayweather
When one of the best boxers of all-time with an undefeated record takes on the current best pound-for-pound MMA fighter, there is sure to be some buzz.
From watching Floyd Mayweather take on Conor McGregor, it was apparent that the fight was more than a money-making sideshow. Each athlete had different challenges, with Mayweather coming out of a 714-day boxing hiatus at 40 years old, and McGregor not having stepped foot out of the octagon.
Here are my takeaways from Floyd’s 50th victory and McGregor’s boxing debut.
1. McGregor Held His Own
For Conor McGregor to take on Mayweather under boxing rules and amidst a highly-anticipated crowd was one thing. But for him to bring this fight into the tenth round was something else. Through the first two and a half rounds, this fight was all McGregor.
The unorthodox fighting dance and constant stance switching by McGregor threw off Mayweather early on. McGregor tried his best to keep up his high claims of knocking out Mayweather early and attempting to ensure the fight would not go past four rounds by swinging early and often.
His power punches and quick jabs gave Floyd all he could handle early. Although Conor was dragged out in the end, he showed that he was going to take on Mayweather in full stride.
2. Mayweather’s Strategy Paid Off
Floyd Mayweather is one of the best defensive boxers of all-time. He was literally all defense in the first three rounds, landing just nine punches.
However, he saved his energy and tired out a fighter in Conor McGregor who rarely goes late into a 25-minute regulation UFC fight. McGregor had the skillset to take on Mayweather, but not the stamina to last potentially 36 minutes. For the remainder of the fight, Mayweather landed 60% of his punches, with 143 in total. Mayweather outlanded McGregor 59-12 on power punches in the final two rounds, including a barrage of hits that forced veteran referee Robert Byrd to call the fight and give the TKO win to Mayweather.
As Mayweather continued to outduel McGregor late, it forced the Irishman to throw illegal hammer fists and lower his guard due to fatigue. Mayweather continued to stay sharp, and his experience helped him win the fight.
3. The Fight Lived Up to the Hype
There were so many viewers and pay-per-view purchases for the event, the fight had to be delayed nearly an hour due to massive PPV blackouts across the nation. While many people did not have the ending they wanted, the fight did elude a lot of excitement.
Neither fighter said the match would go the distance, and the hype-filled media tour brought up enough tension to rile up the fighters and viewers would got their money’s worth, in my opinion. Of course the ending could have been better, but we were able to witness two excellent fighters go toe-to-toe.
While many want a rematch, Floyd made it clear he will retire for good. Conor, on the other hand, proved his worth in the boxing ring, and can use a lot of what he learned to continue to dominate in the octagon.