On Aug. 26 2017, Floyd Mayweather Jr. put his undefeated boxing record on the line against UFC star from Ireland, Conor McGregor. How this fight came to be is a story like no other, resulting in two people from different fighting backgrounds coming together for one epic fight.
The story of Mayweather and McGregor began more than two years ago, when Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision in which all of the judges voted for the victor as a group. After the fight, Mayweather vowed that he was done and was retiring from professional boxing. Then in July of 2015, McGregor went on the Conan O’Brien show and said that he would like to fight Mayweather if the opportunity arose. In Dec. of that year, Mayweather responded to McGregor’s comments and relationship with the media by saying, “They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant.” Jan. 2016 brought a lot of optimism that a Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would happen. However, McGregor put a sudden halt to any talk of a possible fight saying, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
Less than a month later, rumors began to swirl about a matchup, culminating when Mayweather sought to make a deal to fight against McGregor. The potential fight became more of a reality in Dec. 2016, with the news of McGregor getting his boxing license from the state of Nevada, which he had trouble getting because of a disciplinary issue from his time with UFC. Finally, in May, the two gentlemen agreed to box each other in Las Vegas on Aug. 26. It was a fight that lived up to its potential, with Mayweather defeating McGregor in ten rounds via total knockout (TKO). Numbers for people who paid to watch the fight were in the 4 million range. If a person were to take something they learned about the two competitors from the fight, they could probably draw the following conclusions:
Conor McGregor has good instincts. This may sounds like empty jive, but in making the transition to full-fledged boxing, Conor had to pick up small habits on how to close the distance, reset, and pressure without kicks, elbows, takedowns, et cetera. These were all things that seem natural to him. His rhythm was not in any way hindered by the fact that he is not a professional boxer.
McGregor’s timing is still elite by any standard. Timing is a curious thing. Landing a counter uppercut on Floyd was shocking, and impressive.
Floyd Mayweather’s game plan went exactly as advertised; let McGregor pressure early, and tag him late.
Mayweather’s gameplan was not perfect. A part of this likely had to do with adjusting to McGregor’s attack to an extent, but Mayweather’s age and boxing experience was more significant.
McGregor won the first two rounds, regardless of people’s expectations.
Mayweather began to dominate later. Landing 58 percent of his power punches was a clear sign of this.
Mayweather’s body punches were more damaging than McGregor being fatigued from “boxing for the first time” because of the stamina required to have a good shot in a boxing match.
McGregor did not.
Nor did the pay-per-view outage ruin a good fight.
After the long-awaited fight, Mayweather has (once again) decided to retire from boxing — “for good” this time. Let’s see how long that lasts.
Sources: ESPN.com, Bloodyelbow.com, Telegraph.co.uk