LAS VEGAS — The most hyped boxing match in history ended in predictable fashion, with Floyd Mayweather earning a TKO victory over Conor McGregor in the 10th round Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. But give McGregor credit for making it an entertaining fight when many thought it would be nothing but a spectacle.
In the end, McGregor's inexperience and conditioning couldn't challenge Mayweather for more than a few rounds. Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight after Mayweather landed a succession of blows that stunned McGregor and caused him to stumble backwards in the 10th. The future Boxing Hall of Famer had asserted his dominance in the fight at least three rounds before and was able to finish him off when the opportunity presented itself. The three judges scored it 87-83, 89-82, and 89-81, all in favor of Mayweather.
McGregor, the superstar MMA fighter who made his professional boxing debut, showed flashes of competence but ultimately proved to be every bit the novice out there, grappling, and throwing wild punches that earned the referee's ire. In the end, Mayweather, who was a massive favorite heading into the match, improved to 50-0 lifetime and declared after the bout that he was done with boxing.
"This was my last fight tonight. For sure," said Mayweather. "Tonight I chose the right dance partner to dance with. Conor you are a hell of a champion."
While McGregor came out strong in the early rounds and landed some punches, thanks to Mayweather's atypical aggressive strategy, the McGregor fans in attendance hoped he could actually mount a real challenge against one of the greatest boxers of all time. Soon enough, Mayweather’s superior skills started to wear down McGregor and the massive underdog looked tired by the sixth round. By the eighth, ninth, and 10th rounds, he had nothing left. Mayweather finished him off officially 1:05 into the 10th.
"I get a little wobbly when I’m fatigued, similar to the [Nate] Diaz 2 fight. That’s exactly what it was—fatigue," McGregor said. "That’s why I though the ref could have let it go a little longer. Let me go down. Let the man put me down. Wobbly or fatigued, that’s energy, that’s not damage. I’m clear-headed.”
Mayweather landed 53 percent of his punches and 152 power punches compared to McGregor landing 26 percent of his punches and 84 power punches.
With the results of the fight settled after nearly two years of McGregor and Mayweather calling each other out, the world now waits to see how much money the fighers will reap. McGregor was estimated to make at least $100 million for the fight while Mayweather's haul was predicted to be at least $200 million.
The main event was delayed by Showtime because of issues with the PPV telecast, but it didn't ultimately affect the energy in the building which was electric by the time the fighters hit the ring. An A-list crowd, among the 14,623 in attendance, included LeBron James, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, Diddy, Nas, and a ton of boxing royalty. Even with ticket prices set at record highs, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who left disappointed.
"I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see," Mayweather said. "I owed them for the [Manny] Pacquiao fight. I had to come straight ahead and give the fans a show. That's what I gave them."
In the undercard matches, the heavy favorites took care of business.
Gervonta Davis won in controversial fashion over Francisco Fonseca in the co-main event after landing a left to the back of the underdog’s head with 39 seconds left in the 7th round. Fans booed Davis when he was officially declared the winner and throughout his post-fight interview.
“I don’t think it was illegal, but it had no effect on him. I know for sure it didn’t," said Davis, who improved to 19-0 but did not retain his IBF junior lightweight championship after failing to make weight Friday.
“Everybody saw that when I was going down, he hit me twice behind. It’s a blow that’s not legal," said Fonseca. "It was here in Vegas, so he had the crowd going for him, and I just want a rematch."
In the card’s other world championship bout, Badou Jack made easy work of Nathan Cleverly for the WBA light heavyweight championship. The referee stopped it with 13 seconds left in the fifth round after Jack, who improved to 21-1-3, pounded Cleverly with combinations that left him a bloody mess.
"I wanted to box him and feel him out while establishing my jab,” Jack said. “Then the plan was to break him down from there. The plan was to finish him.”