What can I say, folks? The “money fight” is history and we are all here to cast our “expert” opinions on what transpired in Las Vega, Nevada on Saturday Night.
With two industries colliding, one thing that cannot be denied is that it certainly lived up to the hype. The beauty of mixed martial arts clashing with the chess match that is professional boxing.
Conor McGregor stepping into a world unknown, while Floyd Mayweather returns to the sport he’s dominated for 50 straight fights.
When it was all said and done, Floyd “Money” Mayweather defeated “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in the tenth round via technical knockout in the middle of the T-Mobile Arena when referee Robert Byrd stepped in and stopped the fight.
Since then, everyone has been giving “hot takes” on the fight and arguing over the biggest and smallest details.
But the question that we should be asking is: what did we learn from this historic fight?
Let’s get started:
1. Floyd Mayweather is a man of his word and he delivered
Going into this fight, there were A LOT of predictions of how the bout of a lifetime would turn out. Most experts said that McGregor didn’t have a chance and that he would be outmatched in every form of the word. Others gave McGregor a fighter’s chance and assumed that maybe Floyd was past his prime and ready to pass the torch, as we say in the wrestling business.
But one prediction did come true and that is from the man who cemented his place in history, Floyd Mayweather. Mr. 50-0 called his shot before the bout and claimed that this fight would “not go the distance,” and it sure didn’t.
No matter your thoughts on this fight, one thing that is for sure is Floyd Mayweather said he felt disappointed in his performance against Manny Pacquiao and felt like he owed the fans. Mayweather was clearly in Las Vegas to put on a show and there’s nothing I can really criticize when it comes to the effort put in by Mayweather and McGregor.
But Floyd was right. We doubted him and he called his shot.
2. Conor McGregor is worthy
Everyone who walked away from this fight had an opinion, whether it’s objective or not, something that cannot be said is that Conor McGregor was not worthy to be in the ring with Floyd Mayweather.
Not only did Conor McGregor prove that he could hang in there with one of (if not the greatest ever) and go 10 rounds of a 12 round fight. McGregor proved that he has the chin to stand in and swing for the fences.
Yes, Conor was clearly gassed and heavy-legged, but there is no questioning that Conor McGregor has the heart of a champion and felt everything he had in Las Vegas.
3. Floyd Mayweather’s legacy has been etched in stone
One thing we rarely see in professional sports is an all-time great get to go out on his terms. Seeing Floyd Mayweather, still in peak physical and mental condition, go out on live pay-per-view and give us a proper send off with one hell of a fight is exactly what his legacy needed.
Mayweather has always been criticized for his lack of entertaining fights, but not only did he deliver for the fans, he delivered for his eternal legacy as boxing’s measuring stick and standard bearer.
4. This was a great fight
Speaking about my own personal experience, I absolutely enjoyed the fight. Surrounded by friends, rooting for both sides, this fight experience for me was really good. Usually, I don’t have that great of a time during Floyd fights, but this was a different story.
These two warriors stood toe-to-toe with the whole world watching and they gave us what we wanted.
What more can you ask for?
Early on, I thought Conor was looking really good. He was connecting on some shots and without a doubt was still feeling himself out in this completely different sport, but also pushing forward and taking the fight to Mayweather.
As for Floyd, he weathered the storm and began to come alive later in the fight, which is a signature of Floyd Mayweather. There’s something about Mayweather that makes his fatigue look non-existent. About half way through the fight, we received an unofficial scorecard on screen, which showed this fight being neck and neck.
At that point in time, I knew that Mayweather had this fight well in hand as McGregor began to fade.
But even in defeat, I have a ton of respect for both guys, especially Conor McGregor, who took this loss on the chin, stepped outside his comfort zone and jumped head first into a world that he has never competed in, professional boxing on the world’s biggest stage.
Props to both guys. What a fight.
5. Mayweather vs. McGregor finish is example of why MMA is on the incline, while Boxing proves to be a sport of the past
Although I stated several times above that I enjoyed the entire experience and do not whatsoever regret dedicating my Saturday to this fight, but the ending of the fight did leave a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure referee Robert Byrd was just trying to protect McGregor, but the fact that this fight ended on a referee jumping in and calling it doesn’t really sit well with me and which is why MMA has boomed in the social media age and boxing as continued to fade into the past.
In mixed martial arts and the UFC, finishes are decisive 95% of the time and the winners and losers are made clear. Now, in no way am I saying that McGregor won that fight or that Floyd’s victory is tainted, but I am saying that this is partly why Boxing has withered away from the mainstream sporting culture. Boxing, although popular in its niche audience, can still draw mass support, but has a tough time sustaining it.
After referee Byrd stepped in and called the fight, I couldn’t help but feel slightly cheated out of a clear-cut, definitive winner. As McGregor stated in his post-fight interview, he wanted to hit the floor. McGregor insisted that he was just feeling fatigued, and that he was still in control of his movements. Whether that’s true or not is not clear in my mind and I think he certainly has a point, which goes back to the reason why if this fight was contested in the UFC, I don’t think it would’ve been stopped when it was. Understanding full well that the stoppage can come at the referee’s discretion, we’ll never really know if McGregor was truly unable to continue.
I’m no boxing expert, but it seems like this could be part of the decline boxing has suffered over the last decade. Inconclusive endings that leave the fan wanting more. UFC doesn’t have that issue. Most of the time, in the main event, there is a clear winner and loser. And although many might think we had a conclusive winner here, we’ll never really know if McGregor could’ve fought his way back into the fight and pull off the upset. In today’s hyper-focused environment on social media and in general, keeping someone’s interest and investment is to provide decisive outcomes.
In the end, Mayweather vs. McGregor lived up to the hype, delivered in every form of the word and truly cemented these two men into the history books as two of the best to ever compete in combat sports.