Monday 23 July 2018

Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor: 'Only the most grudging would say that it wasn't a proper fight'

Dee Devlin posted this photo of McGregor family after the press conference in Las Vegas including Conor, Conor Jnr, parents Tony and Margaret, and sisters Erin and Aoife Photo: Deedevlin1 on Instagram
Dee Devlin posted this photo of McGregor family after the press conference in Las Vegas including Conor, Conor Jnr, parents Tony and Margaret, and sisters Erin and Aoife Photo: Deedevlin1 on Instagram
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

The Irish Independent's Vincent Hogan has lavished praise on Conor McGregor after the Dublin man went toe-to-toe with Floyd Mayweather for 10 rounds in Las Vegas.

Vilified by many as a "circus" that would be a farcical non-contest, McGregor surprised his detractors with a brave display but was ultimately outclassed by the unbeaten Mayweather.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. jabs Conor McGregor in a super welterweight boxing match Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. jabs Conor McGregor in a super welterweight boxing match Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Conor McGregor sits in his corner between rounds in a super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. hugs Conor McGregor after winning the fight REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action with Conor McGregor as referee Robert Byrd looks on REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 P Diddy before the fight REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Conor McGregor reacts before a super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Demi Lovato sings the National Anthem before a super welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Conor McGregor in action with Floyd Mayweather Jr. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Boxing - Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor - Las Vegas, USA - August 26, 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates with the belt after winning the fight REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Former boxer Mike Tyson, center, attends a super welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
LeBron James attends a super welterweight boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: A general view of the exterior of T-Mobile Arena before Floyd Mayweather Jr. takes on Conor McGregor in their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: (L-R) Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne and Jack Osbourne attend the super welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Conor McGregor arrives for his super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LeBron James waits for a super welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. Former boxer Mike Tyson sits behind James. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Singer Demi Lovato arrives for the super welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Conor McGregor arrives for his super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Conor McGregor arrives for his super welterweight boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Actress Ari Graynor arrives on T-Mobile's magenta carpet duirng the Showtime, WME IME and Mayweather Promotions VIP Pre-Fight Party for Mayweather vs. McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Showtime)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Actor Jeremy Allen White arrives on T-Mobile's magenta carpet duirng the Showtime, WME IME and Mayweather Promotions VIP Pre-Fight Party for Mayweather vs. McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Showtime)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Actor Bruce Willis arrives on T-Mobile's magenta carpet duirng the Showtime, WME IME and Mayweather Promotions VIP Pre-Fight Party for Mayweather vs. McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Showtime)

He won the light-middleweight fight with a 10th-round stoppage over the Irishman.

"I think everyone had question marks over how authentic it would be as a contest but it was a proper fight. He (McGregor) definitely won the first three rounds, I think most people would accept that.

"He was the aggressor and Mayweather seemed quite content to see what was coming. But the longer the fight went on, it was Mayweather who was completely on top.

"Maybe the eight was even, but the ninth was all Mayweather coming forward, technically brilliant.

"It was a brave performance by McGregor, no doubt.

You have to hand it to McGregor. It wasn’t some sort of travesty which some people thought it would be. Some of the experts said he wouldn’t land a punch, well 111 punches landed is a pretty decent result.

"There is a general respect (over here) for McGregor. It wasn’t the circus some thought it would be.

"Only the most grudging would day that it wasn’t a proper fight."

Whether the fight will be the richest of all-time as promoters had predicted will be decided later when pay-per-view numbers come in, but it certainly will not be included on any list of the great bouts in boxing.

On paper it would be hard to find a bigger mismatch, but it did not prevent millions around the globe from reaching for their wallets to purchase a pay-per-view package or the 14,623 spectators at T-Mobile Arena to part with big money for tickets.

In the end, the fight proved to be the one-sided contest many had predicted as Mayweather shook off the rust of two years of inactivity against an outclassed double UFC champion making his professional boxing debut.

For months, the charismatic McGregor had boasted he would knock out Mayweather and his legions of loyal fans believed every word of a man capable of backing his supreme self-confidence with devastating power inside the octagon.

However, McGregor's lack of ring savvy quickly exposed him as Mayweather clinically dissected the 29-year-old, who was soon reverting to his mixed martial arts roots -- clutching, grabbing and hitting his opponent repeatedly on the back of the head.

McGregor did come out full of fury and menace but Mayweather, long regarded as one of the finest defensive fighters in history, left few openings as he used the first three rounds to feel out his opponent.

Once he had studied McGregor's technique, Mayweather took complete control of the contest by the fourth round and started to land blow after blow on his easy target as the Irishman bravely battled on.

The American's domination was complete by the 10th round as he moved in for the kill to record his first early finish since he stopped Victor Ortiz in controversial fashion almost six years ago.

"[Conor]’s a tough competitor - we gave the fans what they wanted to see," said Mayweather afterwards.

"He’s a lot better than I thought he was, he used different angles. But I was the better man. It was our gameplan to take our time and take him out down the stretch.

"That was my last fight. Tonight I chose the right dance partner. Conor you were a great dance partner tonight."

McGregor said: "I turned him into a Mexican. What can I say, I had a bit of fun over this side.

"I thought it was close. I get a bit wobbly when I'm tired. There was a lot on the line and I should have been allowed to continue. Early on I was handy enough.

"He was composed, fifty pro fights will give you that. I've been strangled on live TV and let it go. But f--- it, it was a great buzz. The man should have let me go, let the man put me down. It was fatigue and I get wobbly. Let me wobble back to my corner.

"You've got to put me down. Happy to perform for a different crowd and to be here draped in the flag."

What next? Mayweather insisted this week that this is it, and that his second retirement from the sport will be more permanent than the first. “I’ve promised my children and I've promised the people around me that this is the last one,” he said. “You know that when you push your body to the limit and beaten everyone out there that now the time has come.”

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