Part 1: The Fight
This one is easy. Mayweather by TKO in round 10. In my estimation, the fight was over by the end of round four. McGregor was gassed, plain and simple. His punches had no power behind them, and the frustration in his eyes and body language was evident. We know McGregor is tough, and he would keep swinging as long as he was still standing, but by the beginning of round 5, McGregor was done.
Part 2: The Money
Everyone wins here. Except the poor fans who bet the farm on McGregor. The Nevada Commission, the referee, the fighters, promoters, vendors, all made money on this one. This show had the “it” factor that attracted the fans. It was a fun fight to watch, with curiosity being the main draw. McGregor is the biggest winner here, as the UFC will never offer up a purse like this one. Congrats Conor! Although I refuse to call this event “The Biggest Fight In Combat Sports History,” because, you know, that’s just silly. In fact, it wasn’t even the biggest fight of August 26th, 2017- that title belongs to Cotto-Kamegi.
Part 3: Legacy
This fight did nothing for the legacy of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. McGregor takes this category as well. Conor managed to put on a decent show, for a little while, against one of the best ever. After the fight, Mayweather commented that he owed his fans after the Pacquiao snooze-fest, and I, for one, am glad that he chose to go after McGregor instead of playing cat and mouse all night. I give credit to Mayweather for taking shots that he probably wouldn’t have if he were fighting in his usual, evasive style. He took a risk. We’ve seen McGregor knock out guys in the Octagon, and there was always that slight chance that he could have caught Mayweather as well.
Part 4: Boxing or MMA?
Let’s face it-the MMA world made this fight possible. Mayweather was retired. Boxing fans had little interest in this fight, or any fight involving Mayweather that didn’t also involve Gennady Golovkin. Mayweather took the fight for the money. It was clear the audience at the MGM Grand were behind Conor McGregor, and I think a lot of MMA fans were hopeful that Conor would pull off win, especially after the first three rounds where Conor landed some good shots and Mayweather hardly threw. Mayweather was standing in the pocket, shelling up, and taking everything Conor was dishing out. Except Mayweather wasn’t going down, like most of Conor’s opponents in the Octagon. Then, suddenly, Mayweather decided to start fighting. His timing, accuracy and defense were simply superior. At age 40, after 49 professional bouts and over 90 amateur bouts, thousands of rounds of sparring, Mayweather has been through a lot but he was not going to be beaten by any man making his professional debut and risk replacing that “0” with a “1” in his loss column. But the MMA fans needed to see it to believe it, and hopefully boxing has won some new fans from this whole ordeal. Winner: Boxing.
On a side note, I’m sure many MMA fans thought the fight could have gone on longer. An MMA referee probably would have let the fight go on longer. But the simple fact is that McGregor was taking punishment, and there was every indication that the punishment would have only gotten worse. Personally, I hope this is the last fight of its kind. MMA and Boxing are different sports. The playing field is not level, and it’s a wonder to many in the boxing world that this fight was ever sanctioned. I hope the MMA fans realize this now, because you never hear a champion boxer in their prime calling out a UFC champion and saying, “I gotta fight that guy-sign me up.”
By Matt Benoliel
The Fighting News Reporter